EF Educational Homestay Programs Donates to Tornado Relief, Seeks Host Families

EF Homestay Programs donates to Tornado Relief. From left to right, Charlie Berkinshaw (EF Operations Manager); Diane Sullivan (Charlton Site Director); CMS Chamber Executive Director, Alexandra McNitt; Denise McGee (EF Marlborough Program Leader); and Christine Habermann (EF New England Area Manager).   

Sturbridge, MA, May 29, 2012 - The Chamber of Central Mass South was profoundly grateful to receive a donation in the amount of $3,100 on behalf of EF Educational Homestay Programs as a contribution to the Chamber’s Tornado Relief Fund.  EF stands for Education First. Founded in 1965, EF Homestays operates in over fifty countries offering a range of educational programs from language training, educational travel, and academic degrees to cultural exchanges. With a mission to break down barriers in language, culture and geography, EF has helped people of all ages and nationalities become citizens of the world. Last year, EF was searching for host families in the greater Sturbridge area right at the time the tornado wreaked havoc on much of our region. Seeing the need for assistance, EF offered a fundraising opportunity for those who were able to host.

“EF EHP strongly believes in building communities within our program and we wanted to do something for the residents of the greater Sturbridge area,” said EF’s New England Area Manager Christine Habermann. “However, we don’t want to stop our efforts with this one-time donation. For every family who hosts a student or students this summer, EF will donate $50 toward the tornado relief fund in 2013.”

EF is currently searching for host families to open up their hearts and homes for three or four weeks during the summer to host an international exchange student. From July 19 to August 14, students from Russia, Spain, and China will attend English and culture classes in the mornings and participate in fun and educational activities on weekday afternoons at EF’s Charlton course center. All students are ages 13 to 18, speak some English, are fully insured, and have their own spending money. If you are able to provide a room, meals, transportation to the course center, and most importantly – a stable, caring environment, you have what it takes to share your life with an eager student from abroad!  When you fill out the host application, mention that you decided to host because you heard about EF’s tornado relief donation and EF will make a $50 donation in your name in 2013.  Find out more about EF’s Educational Homestay Program by visiting www.ef.com/ehp or call Diane Sullivan, EF Site Director-Program Leader at 978-407-6046.

The Chamber’s Tornado Relief Fund has helped dozens of our neighbors who were impacted by the tornado and the Chamber is currently at work on a plan to provide trees to victims of last year’s storm. The Chamber of Central Mass South will utilize a portion of the monies from EF’s donation to sponsor and cover the remaining expenses for Back of the Pack Production’s “50 Mile Relay Race” happening on June 2. Starting in Monson, teams of runners will run 'legs' of the 50 mile course along the path of last year’s tornado.  All proceeds from the race will be split between the affected towns. Visit www.bottp.org for more information or to register.

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