Free Online Course Offering: Welcoming Our Newest Neighbors

Did you know the majority of refugees and immigrants have never been inside of an American’s home?

Photo courtesy of The Refugee Center Online

The single most important factor in ensuring that newcomers to the United States become integrated and self-sufficient members of society is the support of their new community. Your efforts matter, and we want to provide you with the tools to make a positive impact.

The Refugee Center Online is offering a free online course to help individuals gain the necessary skills and knowledge to better interact with refugees and immigrants in the community. The lessons are self-paced, which means you can start anytime and complete the training on your own schedule.

Remember: Welcoming newcomers doesn’t always have to be formal. It might mean simply being friendly to those in your community. It might mean making a choice to go out of your comfort zone and invite a newcomer family to dinner.


Volunteer Coordinator Needed!


This summer, we’ll be saying goodbye to the current coordinator of our English Partner Program. Would you or someone you know be interested in taking over this volunteer position? (The program basically runs itself, so the time commitment isn’t too intense!)

Our English Partner Program brings native speakers who volunteer as teachers together with new English learners for one hour a week. English partners can meet anywhere, anytime, and will speak in English in order to improve the learner’s conversational skills. We currently have some 50 volunteers and learners involved!

Please message us if you’re interested in helping us continue this great program! This is a wonderful opportunity for college-aged students looking to gain experience in the areas of teaching, program management, and nonprofit work.

Thank you!

Welcoming spring with a new logo!

We are thrilled to share our new logo with you, Gainesville and Alachua County! What do you think?!


We’d like to extend our sincerest thanks to Lori Gibbons ( who created this design especially for us. (She’s in the process of building her portfolio right now and is eager to collaborate with others, so if you’re in need of high-quality graphic design work, contact her!)

Thank you, Third House Coffee & Books!

We are grateful to all of the individuals and small business owners in the Gainesville, FL area who have joined us in creating an environment that welcomes newcomers.

You can now purchase our “We’re Glad Your Our Neighbor” signs around town, including at Third House Books & Coffee, located on Main Street in downtown Gainesville. Thank you, Kiren and the rest of the Third House Books & Coffee team, for helping to make our community a warm and inviting place for all!


Get a little green by donating to support Welcoming Gainesville/Alachua County

Would you like to financially support the great work of Welcoming Gainesville/Alachua County?

For every $100 tax-deductible donation to Welcoming Gainesville, Inc., you can receive $100 worth of trees, shrubs, or ground covers from our good friends at local Notestein Nursery in Gainesville.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1) Donate to Welcoming Gainesville online or by writing a check to Welcoming Gainesville, Inc., 5055 SW 91st Terrace, Gainesville FL 32608

2) Let us know you are interested in picking up plants at Notestein Nursery.

3) Call Jim Notestein at 352.372.2107 to make arrangements to pick up your plants.

Yard Signs

Update: Signs available for pickup between 5pm and 8pm Monday (February 13) at the Mennonite meeting house, 1236 NW 18th Avenue, across 13th Street from Gainesville High School, a short street between Wells Fargo and PNC banks.

Check out these yard signs popping up all over the country! If you’d like one for your own yard, please email (or use the Contact form above) and we’ll promptly reply to coordinate your purchase & pickup of the signs. Donation requested: $10 (additional tax-deductible donations welcome to support the local programs of Welcoming Gainesville/Welcoming Alachua County).