As the Fourth of July weekend recedes into the distance, I am happily left with thoughts of picnics, Nebraska summer days, and what makes us great as a country. A couple of weeks ago we reported on Nebraska Is Home events that were scheduled to take place in three different Nebraska towns. In the days before the holiday, Fremont, Crete, and Grand Island all hosted activities unique to their towns and that highlight our country’s tradition of finding strength in unity.
On a beautiful Sunday, Nebraska Is Home Fremont hosted a potluck Unity Picnic that drew over 125 community members. Families brought their favorite foods to share, met neighbors, played games, and listened to music. Monday evening, June 29, Crete’s Nebraska Is Home team hosted their second community dinner – together with the United Church of Christ and Doane College – bringing together neighbors of all backgrounds to share a love we all have in commonâ€¦the potato bar. In this case, that common ground brought together 100 people for a fun summer evening of food and conversation! Grand Island’s Visitors and Convention Bureau together with Nebraska Is Home volunteers and the help of friendly local translators created laminated welcome and thank you signs in 12 languages that are being distributed to businesses and organizations around the town. As the weekend fireworks faded, I was left admiring the teamwork and spirit of Nebraska’s communities. It’s the actions of volunteers and neighbors like these that truly create community and that welcome the contributions of new immigrant community members, as have generations of Americans.
Nebraska Is Home projects are community-led and designed by volunteers in each community. The goal of Nebraska Is Home is to promote unity through community-building activities, small group conversations, positive messages about immigrant contributions, and neighbors getting to know neighbors. Nebraska Appleseed provides coordinating support and helps different communities share ideas and tools for education and conversation.
Nebraska Is Home Fremont now has its own page on the Nebraska Is Home website: www.NebraskaIsHome.org/Fremont