New In America? Here’s How You Can Engage With Your Local Community During The Holidays
When migrating to a new country, you’ll often be met with unique obstacles and have to navigate laws and stigmas before you can secure a comfortable life. But positioning yourself favorably within your community is key to breaking through a lot of these barriers and achieving long-term success. Here are some ways you can build local credibility, whilst staying connected with family back home throughout this holiday season.
Taking action and interacting directly with your local community is a great way to subvert any misconceptions and make new friends. One great way to do this is by volunteering. Volunteering shows clearly that you’re willing to work hard and make a positive impact wherever you are. There are many ways to volunteer, including helping out at shelters, food banks, donating blood, local events or even hosting free classes and sharing a skill. If you’re ever in doubt, you could contact your local council and ask for their advice.
The holiday season presents an excellent opportunity to show your charitable side. Around the months of December and January, many organizations are working extra hard to help homeless populations struggling with cold weather and reductions in available resources. Most concentrations of homeless people are within cities. You can make a profound difference by spending a few hours a week helping out. Alternatively, you could approach your local church. Many non-profits operate through churches and are usually welcoming to willing participants from any background.
When establishing yourself in a new country, it’s a good idea to make an effort and learn about the language and culture. This isn’t just about practicality, it’s also about showing people that you’re interested in their way of life. It’s also a great advantage to speak, write and understand the local language - you can start by using apps, taking classes, or interacting with people outside of your usual circle. Curiosity to learn is a universally favorable attribute and much of the learning won’t cost you. You can begin by Googling words you don’t understand - like some of those you’ve read in this article, for example.
Language is one thing, culture is another. Learning how others live and spend their time will help you to develop mutual interests and branch out from your close circle, meeting new people and giving yourself new opportunities. Again, the holiday season is a great opportunity to engage with others and show an interest in the native festivities - some Christmas activities are non-religious and may be compatible with your own beliefs. You could help to wrap presents for children in need or help with catering, for example.
Even whilst building a new life, it’s crucial to stay connected with friends and family back home. Luckily, with modern technology, doing so is easier than ever - you can try video calling platforms such as Zoom and keep folks back home updated via social media. After some time, you might even find it’s financially feasible to visit each other in person.
If you need to send money to loved ones back in the Philippines there are plenty of available solutions. Instead of using typical payment platforms and international wire transfers, try a reliable, low-fee service such as Remitly - this will allow you to make transfers for free or give you the option to pay for near-instant transactions. You can even send care packages via major distributors, such as Walmart - with plenty of healthy and snacky options available.