Community Service Programs: Connecting the Washington, D.C.-Area International and Local Communities
WCIE Community Service activities are offered year-round, monthly or more often, and include multiple activities offered during each of two Community Service Weeks a year.
Our next activity is an opportunity to join us to furnish an apartment for a newly-arrived refugee family, morning and/or afternoon time slots available on Saturday, April 29.
Bookmark this website, email us for information about these activities and to join us, and we invite you to get involved!
Years of Thinking Globally and Serving Locally
Since 2018, WCIE and English Now!, together with the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL), have participated in Welcoming Week, an annual initiative each year in September to encourage local communities to be more welcoming to immigrants and refugees. WCIE is delighted to have been invited to be a part of the Welcoming Week planning efforts for Montgomery County, Maryland, and to host events that commemorate Welcoming Week in the local community.
In 2019, WCIE and English Now! participated in a MCAEL project to create symbols of welcoming throughout Montgomery County, Maryland, by creating and decorating a door that expresses a welcoming spirit. Students and staff, along with residents of Bethesda Sunrise Senior Living, painted a door with colorful leaves representing our thriving community of diverse cultures. The door was displayed first at the Connie Morella (Bethesda) Public Library, and now resides at the MCPS International Admissions and Enrollment Center at Rocking Horse Road.
In 2020, during the global pandemic, WCIE and English Now! offered Exploring English Together, Online! classes to over 100 children in the community as a community service effort to support international families. In addition, we organized food drives to support Bethesda Cares, NIH Children’s Inn, and September House MAJ, and organized programs on well-being including Saturday open discussions about well-being as well as enrollments in a popular Coursera course on the topic, tuition free!
In 2021, despite a continuing global pandemic, WCIE and English Now! organized programs focusing on helping neighbors in need, fighting racism, and serving recently-resettled refugees in the community. Some activities had to remain online, but in Fall 2021 we were able to mobilize dozens of members of the community to donate furniture and household goods and 31 volunteers to furnish three apartments for newly-arrived refugee families. See photos from this amazing experience here.
Community Service Weeks continued in 2022. Our Fall 2022 Community Service Week featured our biggest event yet - a Welcoming Refugees Community Service Fair at Caroline Freeland Urban Park in Bethesda on Saturday, September 17. Over 100 people joined us to meet 10 organizations active in welcoming refugees in our community - and for conversations with refugees and people who serve them. See here for information about that great event.
We look forward to continuing to think globally and serve locally - together - in 2023!
We will still organize Community Service Weeks twice a year, to call attention to our Community Service opportunities. Learn about upcoming programs here and we always welcome volunteer support help planning activities. We look forward to meeting you – and invite you to get involved as a participant or volunteer!