Embracing New and Old Friends: YMCA of Greater Seattle Welcoming Week
Last updated: September 28, 2023, at 1:50 p.m. PT
Originally published: September 28, 2023, at 1:50 p.m. PT
A Wonderful Welcoming Week!
Welcoming Week serves as a reminder: we are stronger together. It’s an opportunity for new immigrants and community members to connect over what unites us and celebrate our diverse cultures and traditions. And thanks to our community, partners, and volunteers — it was a big success!
A big part of it was also making sure new community members had the things they needed to thrive in a new place – like school supplies, kitchen equipment, food, transportation resources, and opportunities to connect! This year, we hosted potlucks, workshops, open mics, donation drives, hikes, multilingual story times, and Ys across King County held job and resource fairs and more!
We hosted a festive dance party with guest performances from a local folklorico dance troupe and singer Jack Mozie that got everyone moving and in the mood to celebrate Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month. In true Y style, there were also fitness-themed events with prizes and snacks provided, including the Snoqualmie Valley Y’s journey to fitness event, where youth practiced martial arts, hula hooped the day away, and so much more. At the West Seattle YMCA, we saw just how diverse our communities are. We brought out the giant map, and people from all around the globe marked where their families are from.
And if there’s one thing that brings people together like nothing else, it’s food. Members shared local dishes in a potluck at the Meredith Mathews East Madison Y. A food drive was held to supply the West Seattle foodbank, and a backpack drive was organized by the Matt Griffin Y to boost our backpack meal program.
The events didn’t stop there. Neighbors became friends, communities were drawn closer together, and belonging was fostered. By expressing what makes us individuals, we were able to find common ground in which people could put down solid roots, feel welcome, and be set up for success.
Thank you to our generous Visionary Partners at Ballmer Group, Casey Family Programs, Microsoft, Premera Blue Cross, and Schultz Family Foundation, and sponsors Delta Air Lines and Bank of America for making this celebration possible.