On Saturday, Nov. 4th, we kicked off our 2023 Welcome Walk with almost 250 participants. At the start of this year’s walk in Clarkston, we heard remarks from Mayor Beverly Burks who extolled the virtues of a welcoming community. Clarkston has the nickname of being the Ellis Island of the South, a tribute to its decades-long legacy of welcoming refugees. This spirit of welcome is still alive today in the rich diversity of its residents. It is home to many of our students.
We also heard from the father of a GVP student — a gentleman from Afghanistan — who spoke passionately about the importance of Global Village Project’s mission and the impact of the school on his daughter’s life.
At the end of the walk, five miles later, our students — many wearing their traditional dresses — danced in circles at the finish line. Their jubilation, the echoes of their laughter and their joy spoke to the importance of safe spaces where people can feel and be free. That is the significance of the Welcome Walk: to create communities where refugees and immigrants feel welcome. The growing number of annual participants, the growing volume of donations, and the growing size of our community encourage us to pursue this important mission.
We are so honored that you walk with our students and their families and that you walk with us. Due to the generosity of our GVP community, we were able to raise a record $113,548!