Just over a week ago, we gathered with 360 friends and neighbors to celebrate the welcoming work of the Treetops Collective community.
It was a joy to share a delicious meal, hear stories from the women in our community, watch a beautiful new video that captures the essence of our mission, listen to the beautiful voices of Africappella, and celebrate the impact of this Collective!
For us, years are marked by friendships made, partnerships formed, meals shared, creative gatherings hosted, leadership camps attended, and first jobs attained for teen girls.
We celebrate these milestones with gratitude for this community that is working collectively to make West Michigan home for our newest neighbors, a place where all belong.
In these first two years of Treetops, as we’ve been building this community, we’ve also been researching and prototyping our model. We’ve had much-needed time to listen and learn from the New Americans we serve.
And now, we’re building on this foundation and using what we’ve learned to strengthen our programs and deepen their impact.
Sister Circles, one of our primary programs, exists to welcome our newest sisters to West Michigan, listen to their definition of success, and become their ally in reaching their goals.
Incorporating what we’ve learned over the past two years, we’re currently developing Sister Circles 2.0 and making the program more intentional, focused, and personalized to each woman who participates.
This next iteration will be a comprehensive approach to understanding the strengths and challenges of a unique cohort of women and teen girls—individuals who resiliently came to our community as refugees with a desire for peace, women who are filled with hopeful aspiration blended with grit and tenacity.
These women, however strong, often still live in survival mode once they are resettled in the U.S. And we are not satisfied with this. We believe there’s more.
We believe that “refugee” is a status that one moves beyond; that survivors deserve to know and be known, to truly flourish economically, to have their gifts celebrated, and to belong as our treasured newest neighbors.
We need them. And we need you!
That’s why we took the opportunity to launch our 100K in 100 Days campaign at our Second Annual Celebration. It’s a bold goal, but this community is bold too! We have seen how you rally around the work of spreading welcoming, and we truly believe there is nothing we can’t accomplish together.
We’re launching this campaign because we need crucial investment to take our programming to the next level.
The $100,000 we hope to raise over the next 100 days will not only cover our operating costs for the next year, allowing us to continue this vital work, but it will enable us to strengthen our programming and deepen our impact.
We’ll be able to launch Sister Circles 2.0, as shared above, as well as hire a Community Manager and more Community Connectors to serve the refugee women and teen girls in West Michigan. We’ll also be able to provide these New Americans with additional support as they work to learn English.
Additionally, we hope to continue to develop our space on Division into a creative hub where refugee women can find their start as creative entrepreneurs and where intentional businesses can find quality production opportunities that bring jobs to New Americans.
We are excited to accelerate the process of belonging for women and their families through this next phase of our growth. And we are thrilled to invite you to join us in this work of spreading welcome in our community!
Will you consider making a gift to help us reach our goal of raising 100K in 100 Days? Your support will allow us to deepen our impact with the refugee women and teen girls we serve this coming year.
We are so excited to see where 2019 takes us, and are grateful to have you along for the journey!