Get Ready to ‘Eat, Play, and Give’ During J Day 2018

Filed in Exchange Visitor Spotlight by on July 19, 2018 0 Comments

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Each year, the international exchange community comes together to recognize J Day, a nationwide celebration of the power of international exchange. American sponsor organizations and exchange visitors use the day to share cultural customs, learn about voluntarism in the United States, give back to their local communities, and get to know one another under the tagline “Eat. Play. Give.”

J Day 2018 will take place on or around August 6. Organizers hope to surpass last year’s total of 54 events across 21 states and Washington DC.

DC-area exchange visitors and hosts sponsored by the American Immigration Council are invited to an exclusive breakfast on August 8 to learn about how volunteers are making a difference defending immigrants’ rights on the southern U.S. border.

There are many other ways American sponsor organizations and exchange visitors can participate in J Day. Some groups host family-friendly field days and dinners, while others focus on community service. Here are a few options to consider when planning your own J Day:

Community Service

Engaging in volunteer work is a great way for both exchange visitors and host organizations to give back to their local communities. During J Day 2017, participants helped prepare meals at local food banks, participated in school supply drives, and gardened along previously neglected walking trails.

Some of this year’s events include a sock and shoe drive for those in need and a hike along Manhattan’s Riverside waterfront park to assist with preservation efforts.

Educate Policymakers

Those participating in J Day are also encouraged to reach out to their local elected officials to discuss the benefits and impact of cultural exchange. It also serves as an opportunity to invite them to an event and keep a line of communication open between government leaders and the exchange community.

A J Day event scheduled for Mackinac Island, Michigan this year will feature a lunch with the mayor of the island. The host organization hopes to use this event to highlight the contributions of exchange visitors who help keep the island’s tourism industry booming every summer.

Networking Events

Some host organizations like to use J Day as a time for exchange visitors to network with one another. These events focus on building community and may include just exchange visitors and their families, often with a canned food drive included.

Networking events this year include a traditional Spanish dinner for visitors and families in New York, as well as a bowling competition in Texas.

Do you have plans to celebrate J Day this year? Share with us in the comments below.

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