Hello! West Hartford, which began as a grassroots organization four years ago, has received IRS 501c3 status.
Submitted by Bepsie Perry, Hello! West Hartford
After four years of community events and cultural activities, the Hello! West Hartford grassroots cultural organization is proud to announce their official non-profit tax exempt status. The process of obtaining the 501c3 wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Matthew Dallas Gordon LLC and Attorney Jeff Brine.
Hello! West Hartford is a volunteer organization that believes: culture in our community is enriching, authentic cultural experiences are essential, and language and cultural barriers are broken down through mutual understanding.
Fours years ago, founder Elizabeth (Bepsie) Perry took the simple idea of greeting neighbors with hello in their own languages and created a town-wide movement. A governing board was formed and Bepsie Perry took the role of president, Manuela Canalas became vice President/secretary for community outreach, and Clare Taylor became the communications director and treasurer for the group. Seven other board members are instrumental in the group’s planning and success. Richard de Meij, Theresa Lerner, Sujitno Sajuti, Dahlia Fauzia Sajuti, Erica Bloch, Lena Tan, and Lisa Benet.
The Hello! West Hartford organization has produced 21 videos teaching residents how to say hello in different languages. Schools, students, businesses and town officials were recruited in this mission to celebrate our diversity. Each year two students in the high schools are honored as Global Ambassadors.
Hello! West Hartford won the “Best Community Spirit” award in the 2013 Park Road parade with more than 100 people marching and yelling their “Hello” in different languages. Founder Bepsie Perry also won the 2013 Noah Webster Award from the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce for her dedication to this cause.
Last year the organization formalized their mission statement and set a vision to create a multifaceted West Hartford Cultural Center to enrich and engage the community through a range of programs and initiatives where all individuals feel equally valued and empowered.
As a non-profit multicultural organization Hello! West Hartford’s mission is to:
Connect our community through culture and language
Create mutual understanding, access, and awareness of our global community
Collaborate with schools, government, business and individuals in our town
Celebrate and embrace cultural experiences and traditions
Cultivate relationships and opportunities that promote global citizenship
Hello! West Hartford is excited to have formed a working relationship with Great By Eight, Noah Webster House and Growing Great Schools. Three events coming up will offer residents opportunities to connect and embrace our town’s rich culture.
Our first event will be a two weekend campaign to reach out to our neighborhoods and ride the CTFastrak the last weekend of March and first weekend of April. Businesses will offer discounts for those that ride and visit.
The second is Breakfast Around the World – A Multicultural Look at the Importance of Breakfast that is free to the public, and scheduled for March 19, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., at the Universalist Church on Fern Street.
The final event is our town-wide Multicultural Celebration at the Town Hall on April 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. This grand event, with over 500 people celebrating through music, food, dance and language,should not be missed.
The 501c3 non-profit status opens doors for the organization in pursuing their dream of a multicultural center in West Hartford.
“Hello! West Hartford offers incredible opportunities right here in West Hartford for our family to learn about and celebrate other cultures,” said Manuela Canales.
Celebrate our town’s cultural diversity and consider donating to this dynamic organization. Contact [email protected], or call Bepsie Perry 860-325-0852 for more information. Visit hellowesthartford.org to watch the language videos and learn about the amazing cultures in West Hartford.