YMCA Celebrates New Americans During Welcoming Week


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This year, the YMCA of Montclair is celebrating Welcoming Week from September 13 to 22. Created by YMCA of the USA’s national partner Welcoming America, Welcoming Week celebrates the growing movement of communities that fully embrace new Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of our country. It’s a chance for neighbors——both immigrants and U.S.-born residents——to get to know one another and celebrate what unites us as a community.

“At the YMCA of Montclair, we believe our community is stronger when everyone in the community feels welcome, can connect, find common ground and celebrate our shared values,” said Buddy Evans, CEO and president. “We are proud to be a part of Welcoming Week, which is demonstrating that in places large and small, people of all backgrounds are coming together to create stronger communities.”

During Welcoming Week, the YMCA of Montclair will host two free events open to all:

  • Global Arts & Crafts event at the Geyer Family YMCA, 159 Glenridge Ave., Montclair on Tuesday, September 17.
  • Global Dance Event at the Park Street YMCA 25 Park St., Montclair on Thursday, September 19.
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Additional information including times will be available on the YMCA of Montclair website.

The YMCA of Montclair will end the week by sharing a special meal. The community is invited to attend a Welcoming Week Global Eats Dinner on Saturday, September 21, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Geyer Family YMCA. The event is organized by The United Tastes of America. “The United Tastes of America builds belonging and integration for refugees and asylum seekers through shared food, social enterprise and community connections,” said Melina Macall, co-founder of The United Tastes of America. “Our shared meals, prepared by our skilled female cooks, reaffirm our families’ rich cultural heritage and competence, building a path to greater social integration.”

Proceeds from the event directly help resettled refugee families. The cost is $58 per person (includes service charge), and you may purchase tickets online here.

Babysitting is available for ages 6 months to 6 years. Please register for babysitting by contacting the Geyer Family YMCA at 973-783-7640. The cost is $15 per child.

“These events are part of a powerful and growing movement in our country and around the world, demonstrating that communities want to be welcoming,” said Rachel Peric, executive director of Welcoming America. “Welcoming Week is a reminder of the resilient and inclusive spirit of American communities. Thousands of local leaders nationwide are bringing their communities together to bridge divides and build stronger local economies where everyone belongs.”

The YMCA of Montclair was founded in 1891 and is a nonprofit organization that welcomes all people. The Y offers need based financial assistance for programs and membership and school aged childcare to residents of Bloomfield, Cedar Grove, Clifton, Glen Ridge, Montclair and Verona. The Y also offers financial assistance for camp to residents of Bloomingdale, Haskell and West Milford. Members benefit from healthy lifestyle-related core programs, including aquatics, childcare, day camp, family activities, health and wellness, sports and teen programs,

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