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Down East Seniors learn about Friendship Force

The Down East Seniors Club held its May 9 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Chip Ide led the meeting. The singing of “God Bless America” was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Charles Smith gave the invocation, and Ed Hamrick read factoids for the date in history.

Vernon Howell introduced Pack Hindsley who spoke about Friendship Force. He said Friendship Force came into being in 1979. At that time, militant Iranians captured the American embassy. President Jimmy Carter’s wife, Roselyn, was in England, and the thought occurred to her that if citizens of different countries would talk to each other face to face then there would be more understanding and less animosity in the world. She discussed this with the British and Friendship Force was organized. Margaret Hackney started a local club of the group in the early 1980s. The Hindsleys first became involved by hosting a visitor from the Netherlands. Since then they have hosted visitors from many countries as well as visiting many countries themselves. The typical visit lasts a week. The visitors live with a host family and learn about their culture firsthand. Today there are between 400 and 500 Friendship Force clubs around the world.

Pat Griffin won the 50/50 drawing.