International Neighbors

Describe your nonprofit’s mission.
The mission of International Neighbors is to serve our refugee neighbors by offering a network of support services, people, and opportunities. We strive to create cross-cultural awareness and appreciation through a variety of programs and services.

What need in our community brought about the creation of your nonprofit?
The lack of integration on behalf of our refugee community (who comprise 4% of the Charlottesville/Albemarle population) and the lack of awareness about our diverse community brought about the creation of International Neighbors. Another impetus for IN was to help resettled refugees access local resources about which they are unaware, due to limited English language proficiency.

How has your nonprofit made a difference in our community?
International Neighbors has made a multitude of difference in our community, including the following:
22 resettled families have been matched with locals through our Family Friendship program;
63 students have been enrolled in extracurricular activities including ballet, soccer, golf, and tae-kwon-do;
36 individuals have been introduced to dental health care measures and visiting a dentist every six months through our Super Smiles program; countless cross-cultural relationships have been created, heightening global understanding and acceptance on a local level.

How can community members help you achieve your mission?
There are a variety of ways that community members can become involved with International Neighbors. We welcome volunteers as Bilingual Buddies (English tutors,) Activity Pals (providing transportation and participation with children in extracurricular activities,) and participation in special events. Tax-deductible donations are another way for community members to help us achieve our mission. Everyone can be a great neighbor!

Tell us a story that has come out of your work.
A neighbor relied on public transportation in order to get to his place of employment, taking over 2 hours one way due to bus schedule and transfers. Only a 15 minute commute by car, the quality time that this neighbor could spend with his family and/or pursuing other interests, totaled almost four hours daily. Through our Driving the Dream program, International Neighbors assisted the father with driving lessons, and secured a donated vehicle for the family. As is common when our neighbors receive such assistance (and a “hand up,” not a “hand out,”) he was eager to be a great neighbor to others in need. He can often be seen providing rides for others who would otherwise be spending hours in transit.

Learn more about International Neighbors

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