Welcoming the Stranger is a non-profit educational ministry that seeks to follow Jesus' call to welcome people who come into our land. It provides free classes in English, computer skills, and citizenship preparation to adult immigrants and refugees in Lower Bucks County and Northeast Philadelphia.
Founded in 1999, Welcoming the Stranger has taught more than 2700 students from 90 different countries.
Using paid teachers and over 45 volunteers each term, we offer classes at eleven locations: the Learning Center of the Langhorne Baptist Church, Morrisville High School, the Morrisville United Methodist Church, the TIR Church in Levittown, the YWCA Center at the Bucks Landing Apartments in Warminster, the Mizpa Church in Warminster, the St. Mary Hospital Family Resource Center in Bensalem, the Creekside Apartments in Bensalem, the PARX Racetrack in Bensalem, the Brunswick at Attleboro in Langhorne, and the Chandler Hall Health Services in Newtown.
Each year Welcoming the Stranger offers three 12-week terms of classes. Registrations for each term number approximately 200 students. There is no cost to the student for any of the classes. The organization is funded entirely by donations from individuals, churches and local businesses as well as grants from area foundations. St. Mary Heath Care provides a generous grant for all of the citizenship preparation classes.
Rev. Sturgis Poorman, a Presbyterian minister, is the founder and executive director of Welcoming the Stranger. The office is located at 216 E. Richardson Ave. in Langhorne. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 215-702-3445.
On October 18, 2014, the students of Welcoming the Stranger held their 14th Annual International Dinner Fundraiser at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Hall in Bensalem. Students from the Welcoming the Stranger classes prepared and served exotic dishes from all over the world at this buffet style meal. International entertainment and prizes were offered to attendees to raise funds to help the program continue to offer an education to members of our community in Lower Bucks County.
The attendees also celebrated Fr. Gasper Genuardi and thanked him for his years of support of Welcoming the Stranger. Local musician Dan May provided musical entertainment, and students and volunteers shared stories of their experiences with the program.
Thank you to everyone who worked to make the event a success and to help support the program in the mission of providing education immigrants and refugees in our communities.
A special thank you goes to St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne for helping to sponsor the event.
See photos of the 2014 International Dinner on our Facebook page.
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