Bring in the new Year!
Soon, very soon we will be completely immersed in a New Year with plans and resolutions to be kept for 2015. Looking back at the year to which we said good-bye we also think about the events and noteworthy happenings that brought us to the here and now. I can’t help pondering over the influence that FIC has had on my life not only in 2014, but over the course of many years.
In far back 1960 FIC was born with the idea of helping many students and people from Europe getting situated in the USA—while they attempted to shed the effects of WWII on their lives and begin anew. Our organization worked with the US State Dept. to welcome these people into our homes, with efforts to help them find schooling and jobs. We were pioneers in this effort. These people did not necessarily all settle here, but had a good start as well on reorganizing their lives and returning home.
Over the course of years as FIC grew, changes occurred, as they do in all living things. Students became fewer and more organizations came on the scene in the US, who could handle them through educational institutions. (The Buffalo Chapter continued this tradition of student exchanges for many years.) Eventually, FIC turned its efforts toward adult exchanges. In this way, groups of members travelled to other countries, stayed with hosts in their homes, and learned about their different cultures. In turn we reciprocated by entertaining guests from other countries in our homes. Today when we travel we continue to seek out groups in other lands- political, service-giving, or educational-- as well as those visiting here, in order to better understand the world upon which we all live.
However changes occur, we never forget or diminish the underlying purpose of FIC –to Respect others in their differences and Celebrate their similarities. This becomes not only a thought, but a way of life for FICers.
Once an FICer, always an FICer. Just as our children learn manners and behavior in their homes as they grow, so also has the purpose of FIC become a part of the families of FICers. It never disappears.
So please continue to be an FIC, whether you can travel or not, whether you can entertain folks in your home or not, whether you can attend meetings or not----Please continue to support the Organization that continues to spread our genuinely international purpose on a One–To-One level.