The nonprofit, which was honored at a ceremony in New York, is one of five selected from a field of 9,300 applicants from across the U.S.
Welcoming the Stranger was recently honored in the national competition, the Renewal Awards, an initiative by The Atlantic and Allstate that recognizes and provides grants to local organizations driving positive change in their communities. Welcoming the Stranger is one of five nonprofits from across the country, out of more than 9,300 who applied, in a competition that included a public voting period.
As the national conversation about immigration reaches a fever pitch, Welcoming the Stranger has been opening doors for immigrants and refugees in Bucks County for nearly 20 years. The program has been selected for its work to empower immigrants with language skills that allow them to navigate and lead successful lives. Welcoming the Stranger provides free classes in English, computer skills and citizenship preparation.
Founded in 1999, Welcoming the Stranger has taught more than 3,500 students from 100 different countries. Welcoming the Stranger is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with several activities, including the release of a cookbook filled with recipes from program participants who have contributed to its immensely popular International Dinners.
In recognition of their work, leaders from Welcoming the Stranger were honored at the Renewal Summit on April 3. In addition to receiving a $20,000 grant, they were surprised on April 2 with an additional year of funding, for a total of $40,000 in funding from Allstate and The Atlantic.
“Across the country, the year’s Renewal Award winners are improving their communities by empowering women, supporting new immigrants, and providing innovative educational paths for young people,” said Elizabeth Brady, chief marketing officer at Allstate. “Allstate is proud to invest in these change-makers who are making a difference in the lives of others every day.”
Started in 2015, the Renewal Awards spotlight grassroots solutions to challenges faced by communities around the country and the people making a positive difference. The awards are the flagship initiative of The Renewal Project, The Atlantic and Allstate’s broader partnership that spotlights innovation and celebrates change-makers in local communities.
“At a time of cynical tribalism and deep division in the life of the nation, this work is inspiring and humbling for all of us at The Atlantic,” said Bob Cohn, president of The Atlantic. “For the last four years, we have been on a hunt to find the most innovative community-based programs in America. With generous support from Allstate, we are helping these groups address the real problems that people face each day.”
With this year’s award, 26 organizations have received $500,000 in grants from Allstate and The Atlantic to further their work. Previous winners span the country, from empowering migrant entrepreneurs in California, to expanding opportunity for Latino youth in Pennsylvania.
To learn more about the awards, voting details, and to read about current finalists and past winners, visit TheRenewalProject.com