Dancing For Our Neighbors

By Melissa Bowe, Program Manager.     

After witnessing the challenges her brother underwent to obtain a green card for his bride after their marriage, Alline Beutler wanted to do something to help other immigrants in similar situations. Susan Norkowski, a retired congressional immigration case worker, wanted to use the knowledge gained through her employment to help low-income immigrants in Northern Michigan who can’t afford the help of an attorney. These women and their exceptional clinic volunteer team have just launched a new clinic in Traverse City, Michigan.

Part of Justice For Our Neighbors-West Michigan, the Traverse City clinic at Central United Methodist will provide services to a robust immigrant community in the northwest corner of the state. It was a special treat to get an inside look at the creative fundraising happening up there when I visited this past weekend to perform a volunteer training. JFON entered a dance competition called SwingShift and the Stars Dance-Off for Charity. Once a month for six months, one representative for each competing charity and one assigned dance instructor, “dance off” based on the dance theme of the month (this month it was country dancing), all the while attendees make donations to the charities. On Friday night, JFON raised $2,997 and came in fourth (out of six teams) in the dance competition. In total, JFON in Traverse City has raised $14,558 through this fundraising event!

Check out this really FUN promotional video featuring the dance competition I attended.

If you want to learn more about this fundraising event, check out their website!