FaithAction International House keeps traditions strong with a Multicultural Thanksgiving

This article was originally published in 2019. However, it has been updated to reflect changes to the annual event caused by COVID-19.

Last year, the Center for Immigrant Integration had the opportunity to highlight FaithAction International House in Greensboro, N.C. The CLINIC affiliate hosts an annual Multicultural Thanksgiving event, bringing members of the community together to enjoy one another’s company, eat delicious food representing different countries, and dance and sing to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. However, like most events in 2020, the in-person event is canceled due to COVID-19.

As an alternative, Rev. David Fraccaro put together a Multicultural Thanksgiving Recipe book using recipes shared by staff, volunteers, community members and clients. “It is our hope that families might be inspired to try something new for Thanksgiving, based on a recipe from one of their newest neighbors,” explained Rev. David Fraccaro in his email to clients and volunteers encouraging participation.

Although there won’t be an in-person community event this year, families and clients of FaithAction will still receive a Thanksgiving meal to-go. The meals include a turkey, tortillas, dinner rolls, dry and canned beans, vegetables, desserts and a bag of Maseca1 , in addition to a new recipe to try. While the Multicultural Thanksgiving Recipe book hasn’t been compiled yet, one can expect it to be filled with delicious and diverse meals. FaithAction serves and advocates alongside 3,000 immigrant families from over 60 nations, each year.

This event is made possible with the help and assistance of volunteers from the community as well as partners in the community such as the Jewish Reform Congregation, Presbyterian Congregation and volunteers from the state healthcare agency.

FaithAction offers various services such as food, housing, health care assistance, legal services, back to school support, holiday drives and have provided over 20,000 FaithAction ID cards to those unable to obtain a government issued ID, expanding the innovative program to over a dozen cities across the nation. Recently, the CLINIC affiliate has been providing tens of thousands of dollars for rent and bill payments for families affected by COVID-19, in addition to paying filing fees for 40 DACA recipients. Over the last two years, FaithAction visited detained clients via a 16-hour rounds trip to the Stewart Detention Center. They’ve also published a book of moving visitor testimonies entitled: Making Our Way to Lumpkin, and launched, a $30,000 Immigrant Bond Fund along with the book to help release detained clients and reunite them with their families.

CLINIC applauds FaithAction International House for their continued efforts to advocate for immigrant rights but also promoting integration during these challenging times. Learn more about FaithAction International House and be on the lookout for the upcoming Multicultural Thanksgiving Recipe book!

Share with us your community’s integration efforts for an opportunity to be featured in CLINIC’s monthly highlights!

1 A popular corn flour from Mexico that is commonly used to make handmade tortillas