June & July 2018 Newsletter

In this issue:
  • Celebrate Diversity at the Community Picnic June 24
  • Gatherings Planned for English Practice
  • The Sewing Machine Project
  • Peter Mulvey Concert August 9
  • Welcoming Week, Sept 14-23
  • Help Wanted
  • Mark Your Calendars
"3rd Wednesday" General Meeting
Sequoya Library
4340 Tokay Blvd, Madison, 53711
Wednesday June 20, 7-8:30 pm

Want to get involved?
Come and learn how you can!
Note: because the Open Doors' newsletter folks will be traveling next month, we're rolling the June and July (mostly monthly) newsletters together.
Celebrate Diversity at the Community Picnic, Sunday June 24
The Open Doors for Refugees Community Picnic is right around the corner! Make a dish to share and pack up the kids for our third annual picnic. Join us for conversation, community building, music and merriment. The picnic will be held on Sunday, June 24th from 12 - 5 pm at Olin Park Shelter on John Nolen Dr. There will be musical and dance entertainment as well as kids’ activities throughout the afternoon.

Interested in volunteering? We could still use a few helping hands!   Sign up to volunteer at: PicnicVolunteerSignUp 
Entertainment Schedule:
  • Madison Area Ukelele Initiative (group of 10) to play 12:30-1 pm
  • Limanya Drum & Dance: 2-2:30 pm
  • Eric De Los Santos to play Marimba 2:45- 3:15
  • Raizes do Brasil Capoeira demonstration - 3:30- 4 PM
Gatherings Planned for English Language Practice
Open Doors for Refugees is taking a new approach to help refugees learn English. Beginning this fall, we will host monthly gatherings, where refugees can join volunteers for English conversation practice in groups.

In addition to helping them learn English, these gatherings will offer refugees more opportunities to interact with others in the community and build personal connections.

Tentatively, the conversation practice gatherings will be held the third Sunday of the month, from 3 to 5 p.m. We are currently scouting for a location.

During the past year, our ESL Team has offered a limited level of one-on-one, in-home tutoring. But, since other community agencies offer a range of tutoring services, we have decided to change direction.

Over the summer, our ESL Team will be gathering and developing materials to support our conversation gatherings. We want to prepare for conversations that focus on topics of interest and relevance to refugees. Other ODFR teams will be working on other aspects of this gatherings.

Watch for more details about this initiative by late summer. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this and/or other Open Doors initiatives, contact our volunteer coordinator by email to
Open Doors has been offered an opportunity to partner with The Sewing Machine Project.  Formed in 2005, The Sewing Machine Project, Inc. brings sewing into peoples’ lives by offering sewing machines, tools, and education. The organization works with local, national and international groups committed to using the machines to provide opportunities to create, learn new skills, build self-confidence, and contribute to their own livelihoods and the well-being of their families and communities. 

In order to qualify for sewing machines, ODFR will need to identify 6-10 individuals who are interested and willing to take a six week class to learn how to use and maintain the machine they will receive.  They in turn will need to attend each of the classes.
We are seeking an individual who is passionate and skilled in sewing who is willing to gauge the interest among our refugee families, organize the group, and apply to and a request a class from The Sewing Project.  It would be ideal if this person can be at our picnic on June 24, with a sewing machine and a signup sheet.

If you would like to undertake this project we will be SEW grateful. Please contact
Peter Mulvey Benefit Concert

On August 9th our old friend Peter Mulvey, an icon in the folk music circuit, will once again play a benefit concert for Open Doors. 
Peter is a fabulously creative, talented and humorous musician, touring nationally and internationally since the early ‘90s, with 17 albums under his guitar.  Nickle&Rose, who play West African, Blues, Bluegrass, Folk and Jazz, will open the show.  And as with last year, Open Doors will serve food prepared by several local refugee families so come hungry!  Other than the date (August 9) and location (Threshold, 2717 Atwood Ave), the details of the show have not been worked out yet, but watch our Facebook page and website in the next week or two for more information and on-line ticket sales.

Welcoming Week, September 14-23
Open Doors is pleased to once again participate in Welcoming Week, September 14-23.  This is a nationally orchestrated series of events in which communities bring together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone.  In 2017, there were more than 700 events around the country, six of which were put on by Open Doors.

This year Open Doors is currently planning to sponsor two events: a Naturalization Ceremony, and a booth at the Willy St Fair.  While there are a lot of details to be worked out yet, we plan and expect to have a Naturalization Ceremony during this week, hopefully at the State Capital again.  Last year, at the Open Doors facilitated Naturalization event, 42 Wisconsin residents from over 20 countries became citizens.

And please stop by the Open Doors booth at the Willy St Fair on Sunday September 16.

Help Wanted - 
Be a Part of  Open Doors!
Donations Manager

Amanda Crim, one of our dedicated Donations Managers, is happily taking a new job and regretfully moving on.  Amanda’s role has been to coordinate with donors and to decide which offers we could accept, tracking them, scheduling pickup, confirming with donors, and sending thank you notes and receipts.  It takes a few hours per week.  If you would like to be part of Open Doors and participate in this critical role, please send an email to

And much, much thanks to Amanda for her many months of service.

Mark Your Calendars
June 20 - "3rd" Wednesday meeting, Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd, 7-8:30 pm

June 24 - Open Doors Community Picnic, Olin Park, noon - 5 pm - see above

July 18 - "3rd" Wednesday meeting - St Paul Lutheran Church, 2126 N Sherman Ave, 7-8:30 pm

August 9 - Peter Mulvey Concert, 2717 Atwood Ave - see above

September 14 - 23, Welcoming Week - see above
Please note, here are links to all previous newsletters 

Contact Us:










Mailing Address

Open Doors for Refugees

1213 N Sherman Ave # 104
Madison, WI 53704


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