November Letter from the AAFSW President

Fall is a fun and festive time of year for AAFSW. Annually, we host the Art and BookFair in October, the Foreign Born Spouse Group organizes a Halloween Party and we honor amazing individuals at the AAFSW Awards Ceremony in November, which includes the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad.

This year looks a little different.  Our annual Art and Book Fair was cancelled for the first time in 60 years. The Department of State is not open for business as usual. The Art and Book Fair is AAFSW’s largest fundraiser,  which raises money for scholarships and programs.  Last year, AAFSW raised over $12,000 for scholarships alone.  We hope to offer the same for our next cycle of scholarships in Spring 2021. With your support, we can reach the goal of raising $12,000 again. Please consider donating to our scholarships fund.  You can click on the donate icon on the main page of our website, Our amazing volunteers put together a video celebrating the Art and Book Fair in honor of the 60th anniversary of the event. Anne Kauzlarich, chair of A&BF shares a few thoughts about Art and Book Fair in the GL  There you will find a link to the video.  Plus the annual AAFSW Awards Ceremony will take place virtually on November 20, 2020. Be on the lookout for details about this in upcoming announcements. 

It’s crazy and wonderful at the same time that so much of our lives and social interactions have become virtual.   Who knew how many different online platforms would take over – Zoom, MS Team, Google Hangout, FaceTime, and more.  Since March, I have shared holidays and family celebrations on zoom. I have attended a funeral and a bat mitzvah on zoom. I have participated in meetings with AAFSW, FLO, AFSA and ADST virtually. Some days, I am zoomed out!

I am pleased with how our board members have transitioned from in person events to online events during the pandemic. We continue to provide engaging programs organized by Sheila Switzer, Programs Chair and interesting cultural events with our Foreign Born Spouse Group chaired by Jenny Kocher and Alfredo Barela. Be sure to check out AAFSW’s calendar of events on our website and in our monthly newsletter, and current posts on Livelines, Facebook and Twitter. As always, feel free to reach out to our office with any questions about upcoming programs. 

I look forward to seeing you online and in person when it’s safe to do so!

Happy Fall.