The holidays are a time to celebrate time-honored traditions and gather with family and friends but for thousands of international exchange students, it won’t be possible.  Our founder, Victoria Lynden, reminded us that for many of our J-1 participants, it’s the first time many of them will be very far away from families and loved ones. So she asked us to get busy planning a party for local students and interns so they could experience and share in holiday celebrations and experience the true spirit of the season. So in keeping with the most wonderful time of the year…

A Holiday Party Poem

With great joy we planned –oh the silly games we’d play, we’d entertain our friends, laughing all the way!

We’d celebrate Christmas and honor Hanukkah too, and include anyone who might be a bit blue.

Yes, they cried, we’d love to come! And not one of them appeared the least sad or glum.

They came from South Africa, Mexico, Jamaica, Philippines, Korea and India, too, we welcomed at least 40 or perhaps 42.

The office was decorated with tinsel and lights, and got very busy making yummy delights.

We decked our halls with holiday red and green to put on the best party our friends have ever seen!

We played games but not the reindeer kind, for some came for fun and some came to unwind.

Christmas carols were sung and stockings were hung; selfies were taken and taste buds awakened.

Our friends drank hot chocolate and ate all sorts of treats, no one left hungry when they dashed down the streets.

They cried as they left us, “This was a great holiday treat, so many new friends did all of us meet!”

The rest of us gathered to clean up the mess, delighted that our party was a smashing success.

Remember this season to do a good deed and reach out your hands to people in need.

This wisdom of giving to you we impart, that the best gifts are ones that come from the heart.

Happy Holidays to all please be of good cheer, wishing you peace and prosperity in the coming New Year!