Help Global Connections on Centre Gives 2022

Centre Gives is just around the corner. The biggest annual donation event in Centre County will happen on May 10 and 11. The 2022 edition has a new and special participant: Global Connections. Our goal is to raise $2,000. The money will be used to strengthen our finances and expand program offerings.

Our activities include free classes to learn English as a Second Language (ESL), book clubs, cultural luncheons, a discussion group, poetry readings, and informal cultural, educational, and exchange activities and interactions. Also, with the fund GC will be able to help people in need in the community.

Another important goal during Centre Gives is to spread the word about the work Global Connections does. It is important to emphasize that no money would go to administrative costs. Our mission is to foster meaningful relationships through service, education, and partnership. Click here to check our profile: https://centregives.org/organizations/250-global-connections

Do you know Centre Gives?

Centre Gives is an annual 36-hour online giving event designed to encourage community giving and to support the great work of Centre County nonprofits. The 2022 edition will start at 9 am on Tuesday, May 10, and end at 9 pm on Wednesday, May 11. During Centre Gives, donors may visit CentreGives.org to make secure donations to their favorite local nonprofit organizations. Your gift could also help qualify your favorite nonprofits to win additional cash prizes! This community event is hosted by Centre Foundation and supported by our community impact funds and partnerships with local businesses.

Stay tuned for additional details.

International Poetry Night inspires public

No matter where you’re from, poetry is a universal language. It is more than the combination of words with meter and rhyme. Poetry definitely touches hearts. Beautiful and inspirational moments marked the International Poetry Night, organized by Global Connections. Webster’s Bookstore Café opened its doors for about 30 people from different countries on April 9.

Poems were read in Spanish, Farsi, Russian, French, Portuguese, and, of course, in English. The event celebrated the National Poetry Month. Between the participants there were people from the USA, Iran, Mexico, Kazakhstan, India, and Brazil.  

Ardavan Javid attended a Global Connections event for the first time. She read “Bani Adam” in Farsi and its translation in English. “I found an advertisement for Poetry Night and decided to come. It was great.” Asked if she would attend another event like that, she was emphatic: “Sure!”

Bob Persiko, president of GC, said that “Global Connections’ mission is to bring people together to share their cultures and learn from each other. Poetry is a beautiful vehicle to do this.” He also expressed our special appreciation for Elaine Meder-Wilgus, the manager of Webster’s, for her strong support of GC over the years and for letting us have the Café for our event.

Global Connections and Centre Safe together against domestic and sexual violence

The members of the Tuesday discussion group participated of an important presentation made by Centre Safe. Becky Misangyi and Brittany Sherman talked about their work in the organization dealing with social issues in the Centre County area. They spoke about equality and equity, violence, mental health, homelessness and poverty. They explained how people in danger can ask for help. The session also benefited from the participation of Alix Crosswell, Family Liaison and Bilingual Educator for the State College Area School District.

Centre Safe has the mission to empower survivors of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking and to work toward the elimination of such violence. They have a hotline where people can find help (814 234 5050). Click here for other information www.centresafe.org/

You are invited for a special Brazilian lunch

Feijoada, a traditional (and delicious) dish from the Brazilian cuisine made with beans, will be served at the next cultural luncheon. The event organized by Global Connections will be held at Saint Andrews Church (208 W. Foster Avenue), on May 5th from noon to 1 pm. 

The catering will be provided by the Brazilian Munchies. They will also serve rice, farofa and, for dessert, a brigadeiro. The meals will be served to eat in or to go. Bruce Truitt, Global Connections member, will play Brazilian music during the event. The price is $20 per person. The registration link for the Brazilian Food Cultural Luncheon is on https://globalconnections.wildapricot.org/.

Virtual General Membership Meeting

You are invited to a General Membership Meeting that will be held virtually on Thursday, April 21 at 6:00 PM. The purpose of the event is to approve changes in bylaws for Global Connections. Here is the link to the package of documents (Bylaws Revision) for your consideration: (https://globalconnections.wildapricot.org/sys/website/files/). Please read them over carefully to inform yourself about what decisions we need to make. Let us know if you have any questions. A more detailed agenda will be distributed closer to the meeting.

In addition to discussing the bylaws amendments, there will be a presentation by Kiyomi Masamune, a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State, on her perspectives about cultural adjustment. She has some insights that we think you will find enlightening.

Click here to access the meeting.

 International Poetry Night at Webster´s Café

“The poetry is the eternization of the moment”, said the Brazilian poet Manoel Bandeira. You are Global Connections’ special guest to eternize a moment of open mics to show the beauty of poetry all over the world.

In honor of National Poetry Month, Global Connections will be holding an International Poetry Night. All members are welcome to step up and share their favorite poem from a favorite poet in their own language and its English translation or share one of their own poems.

Let us know which poets have inspired you. Are you a poet? Come share your work or a poem that’s touched your life. If you prefer, only attend this inspiring event and enjoy a cultural night. It will happen at Webster’s Bookstore Café (133 E Beaver Ave, State College), on Saturday, April 9th, at 7 pm.

The registration is free for all Global Connections members.

Global Connections is a non-profit and all-volunteer membership organization. We welcome people to register for membership and pay dues of only $10 per year.

Click here to access the registration link for the International Poetry Night.

ELL Family Fund created by Linda Barton – GC member – helps people to face hard times

The pandemic has impacted everybody’s life. While society had to fight against the risk of a deadly disease and all the impacts of lockdowns and the changes it took, some people also had to struggle with unemployment, hunger, and the chance of losing the place they used to live. The motivation and hard work of a woman in State College have changed this situation and given a lot of people a new opportunity. Linda Barton is her name. 

Linda Barton is a Global Connections member. She is a retired ESL School teacher. In March 2020, she started volunteer work to help to feed some families who have lost their income. In the beginning, she and her husband started buying food and donating it for people in need pointed out by other ESL teachers. This amazing work has grown. She started fundraising, and just a little later they were paying the rent of 20 international families (around 80 people) in State College area. 

Linda’s history as a volunteer started back in the 70s, when she began helping Vietnamese students who came to the USA after the war. Some time ago, one of these students, now a successful professional woman, donated money to start up a fundraising campaign. “It is such a good feeling to know that you touched somebody’s life.”

In her work, Linda now has the collaboration of major partners, such as Wegmans and Trader Joe’s. Also, Centre Helps alternates assisting the families’ rent, and Saint Andrews Church is contributing food donations. The ELL Family Fund created by Linda is now able to focus on helping with emergencies, like medical needs, rain gear, winter clothes, and school suplies for new students, as well as transportation assistance. “We never know what is going to come up in an emergency,” she explains.    

Global Connections

“I’ve been connected with Global Connections for a long time in that way,” tells Linda, remembering how she started to get involved with the organization more than 30 years ago. “I would definitely encourage everybody to become a member. It is not very costly. It is very inexpensive and people do want to help.”

In Linda’s opinion, “helping other people volunteer is something essential to American culture.” She says she was always fascinated with other cultures, and she thinks it possibly comes from the fact she is also bicultural (her mother was from Mexico and her dad’s family from Europe). “The motivation has to be because you enjoy working with other people like this. It does not really come from what makes me good. It does, but I feel the volunteering work across the board. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with senior citizens, with animals, whatever it could be. If it strikes a chord with you that you should put energy into.” 

About State College, she remarks that it is a great community. “If you find your passion and you can put some time into it, I am pretty convinced that the way we become a real community in terms of embracing all different cultures is one to one. The families we work with at ELL Family Fund have a comfort level and understand American culture. It has to have a benefit. When the kids and the adults get older, if they have a positive memory of something I think that will trickle down to their children, their families, it has a much larger effect than just one person being touched by somebody also.” 

How you can help

If you want to help, please consider donating to the ELL Family Fund through PayPal. There is no fee if you have a PayPal account that has funds in it. Select “Send & Request.” Next “Send Money” to [email protected]. If you use a credit card there may be a 3.5% fee, but otherwise if sending to a personal account you do not pay any fee. Alternatively, if you already use Venmo, their app is also an option: @Linda-Barton. There is no fee for using Venmo. If you use neither PayPal nor Venmo, you can always send a donation to Linda’s Barton home: 182 Legion Lane, State College PA 16801 or you can drop it off in “my virus-free mudroom, which is always open.”

Book Groups going strong

The Global Connections book groups have continued to thrive during the pandemic. In one group, led by Deb Leo and Sharon Hyde, meet via Zoom every two to three weeks with their readers. When they choose longer books, the time between discussions is longer. In addition to the five women in the core group, there are two Brazilians who regularly participate remotely. They are optimistic that, when they are again able to meet in person the number of participants will increase.

A second group has been meeting weekly under Becky Misangyi and consists of 5-8 regular readers, occasionally joined by alumni now back in Europe. New members are always welcome.

Informations: https://www.gc-cc.org/book-groups

The English program extends its outreach

Yingxue Liu spent several years in State College while her husband got his PhD at Penn State. A trained English teacher, Yingxue volunteered her services at the Mid-State Literacy Council. She was also a long-time member of GC’s English class. Now she is back in China, where she has been hired by Dalian University to teach academic writing.

GC President Bob Persiko and resident English instructor is advising her as she develops her course curriculum and materials. Thanks to Zoom, other alumnae of GC’s English program who have moved back to their home countries have been able to stay connected to the weekly classes. These highlight how our organization’s outreach extends beyond central Pennsylvania.

 

Global Connections Make and Create at The Makery

The Global Connections (GC) Executive Committee is delighted to invite all to attend a crafting event at The Makery!

Where: The Makery, 123 S Fraser St, State College, PA 16801

When: Saturday, January 8th.  2-4 PM EST.

Who: All are welcome to attend.  The price to create two pieces of art is $15 per person.   Attendees who are not members of Global Connections will be asked to join for a cost of $10 for the year.

What:

  • Join a guided creation event with instructor Bec Shepski – make incredibly cool wooden earrings or keychains.
  • Socialize and reconnect with other members
  • Learn about Global Connections’ current activities and plans and how you can participate actively in our mission.

Please, click here and register as soon as possible as this event is limited to 20 attendees.  Payment may be made online or at the event, however, registration is required.  Please contact Kieran Holland at (717) 364-5655 if you experience any issues registering.

Please note masks must be worn inside The Makery during this event.