Sponsorships will be for up to $500 apiece

As communities look ahead to grow both economically and socially, providing a welcoming, safe space for all is vital. 

West Central Initiative is once again offering support to communities that want to explore ways to be more welcoming by participating in Welcoming Week 2023. This annual national event is September 8-17, and West Central Initiative hopes to sponsor community welcoming events throughout west central Minnesota.

“We’re offering sponsorships of up to $500 to community organizations that believe in welcoming newcomers and wish to create their own events during Welcoming Week,” said Rick Schara, Community Engagement Specialist at West Central Initiative.

Welcoming Week is organized by Welcoming America, a national organization whose mission is to help communities become more welcoming to new residents, immigrants, and refugees. Welcoming Week brings together neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong communities and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.

“Last year, we sponsored 13 Welcoming Week events that included a wide range of activities,” said Celeste Koppe, Rural Initiatives Strategist at West Central Initiative. “Those activities included potlucks, cultural performances, information sessions on legal aid and human services, ice cream socials, and much more. The goal of these celebrations is to unite community members and empower new residents.” 

Learn more and apply for a Welcoming Week sponsorship at www.wcif.org/rural-belonging. The application deadline is May 10. 

West Central Initiative (WCI) is a regional community foundation and an economic development organization serving the nine west central Minnesota counties of Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin and a portion of White Earth Nation. Through philanthropy and planning, WCI fuels insight and action for the benefit of our region and our world. Since 1986, WCI has provided more than $57 million in loans and $72 million in grants to businesses and organizations. 

Learn more at www.wcif.org.