2014 Lutheran Social Services New Americans Building Bridges Conference Opens

The 2014 Lutheran Social Services New Americans’ Building Bridges Conference opened Tuesday morning at the Fargo Holiday Inn with opening remarks from Darci Asche, community support services supervisor; Bob Sanderson, agency CEO; and Laetitia Mizero, program director.

Keynote speaker Luma Mufleh chronicled her remarkable story of growing up in Amman, Jordan, coming to the United States and eventually founding the Fugees (short for refugees) soccer team in Atlanta.

“It took me awhile to understand that some of the kids I saw playing soccer were living from day to day,” Luma said. “And that many of these kids were going to bed hungry.”

Throughout her tireless endeavors building the soccer team, as well as the Fugees Academy in Atlanta, Luma said she always believed in the “resilience and goodness of humanity.”

Luma Mufleh

Addressing the conference attendees, Luma added, “(Those of us here) are privileged. We can read and write and we don’t go hungry. With that comes the burden of responsibility. We must identify with the powerless, not the powerful. We must do what we can to make the world a kinder, safer place. Our work is about righting wrongs.”

The conference continues through Wednesday afternoon with several breakout sessions and a plenary session led by Brad Delzer.

 

2014 Building Bridges Conference Opens

The 2014 Lutheran Social Services New Americans’ Building Bridges Conference opened Tuesday morning at the Fargo Holiday Inn with opening remarks from Darci Asche, community support services supervisor; Bob Sanderson, agency CEO; and Laetitia Mizero, program director.

Keynote speaker Luma Mufleh, chronicled her remarkable story of growing up in Amman, Jordan, coming to the United States and eventually founding the Fugees (short for refugees) soccer team in Atlanta.

“It took me awhile to understand that some of the kids I saw playing soccer were living from day to day,” Luma said. “And that many of these kids were going to bed hungry.”

Throughout her tireless endeavors building the soccer team, as well as the Fugees Academy in Atlanta, Luma said she always believed in the “resilience and goodness of humanity.”

Luma Mufleh

Addressing the conference attendees, Luma added, “(Those of us here) are privileged. We can read and write and we don’t go hungry. With that comes the burden of responsibility. We must identify with the powerless, not the powerful. We must do what we can to make the world a kinder, safer place. Our work is about righting wrongs.”

The conference continues through Wednesday afternoon with several breakout sessions and a plenary session led by Brad Delzer.

Tonight: Open Discussion on Refugee Integration into the FM/WF Community

YOU ARE INVITED: Open Discussion on Refugee Integration into the Fargo/West Fargo/Moorhead Community.

Fargo Public Library, 102 3rd St N, tonight (Tuesday) from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.

This is a great opportunity to learn about new faces in the area. A short video about refugee resettlement will be shown. Panel members will lead the discussion.

All are welcome and encouraged to participate in the open conversation. You can submit your questions in advance to kgundala@lssnd.org, dasche@lssnd.org, or Mgonzalez@lssnd.org.

Ethnic snacks from local restaurants will be served.

 

Lutheran Social Services New Americans Farmers Market

When: Tuesday, August 27, 5-7 p.m.

Where:  Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, 4720, 7th Ave. S., Suite B, Fargo

“Growing Together” is a community garden cultivated by refugee families with support from Lutheran Social Services New Americans, Olivet Lutheran Church and funds from community donations.

-Fresh, locally grown vegetables for sale
-Proceeds from sale will benefit refugee families
-Please come and support

 

Hammers up! Volunteers needed to continue Minot recovery

It’s been two years since the Souris River flood devastated the Minot area, but the need for volunteers remains urgent. With construction season in full swing, Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response plans to wrap up its work in Minot by the end of October.

“We received additional funds from the state to help us continue our work in Minot this year, including support for electrical work, plumbing and for our core construction staff and site supervisors,” said Shirley Dykshoorn, program director. “We are continuing to utilize volunteers. More than $2.6 million in volunteer labor has been donated to the rebuilding effort in Ward County, and we also have received significant support—nearly $400,000—from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation for our work in Minot.”

Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response is a founding partner of Hope Village, a volunteer center that was organized following the 2011 flood. Hope Village partners have contributed 114,715 hours of volunteer labor toward the rebuild since its opening.

So far, the effort has served 310 teams for a total of 3,445 volunteers. The volunteers have assisted more than 390 homeowners and closed 325 cases.

Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response also utilizes Project Renew staff to do crisis counseling and outreach to disaster-affected areas statewide and particularly in Minot under a contract with the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

Volunteers are still urgently needed to complete the recovery efforts. If you have experience remodeling your house, you have the experience we need!  Call 701-500-5206 to find out more.

Information on Hope Village can be found at www.hopevillagend.org

Celebrating 30 years of serving the hungry

Cutting the ribbon on the next 30 years

The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, observed its 30th anniversary with an open house and ribbon cutting Wednesday, May 1.

As North Dakota’s only food bank, it has supplied more than 100 million meals to children, seniors, and families in need over the past 30 years.

In his welcoming remarks, Great Plains Food Bank Director Steve Sellent said the next 30 years will include special programs that focus on seniors, children and people in rural areas. “We also want to go beyond feeding the hungry and address the causes of hunger with the goal of shortening those lines.”

Paul Aladin, director of Tri-City Ministry Food Pantry, which partners with the Great Plains Food Bank, said “Together, we are stronger; together, we will end hunger.”

CHS, Inc., a global agribusiness with service centers in North Dakota, presented a donation of $126,129.

“That says about half a million meals for people in need,” Steve said. “So, thank you so much.”