WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/553574

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Page 139 of 227

in a bright and sunny room on the main floor of the building. While these classes are spon- sored by the Wellesley Free Library, they would not be possible without the assistance of Wellesley Friendly Aid, which provides not only the meeting space, but also textbooks and other necessary resources. With attendees ranging from newly transferred international professors, to political refugees, to first genera- tion English speakers, the classes are lively and animated, uniting people from many different cultures through a common goal. "It's not just a matter of learning English, it's also about learning about life here," explains Philippa Biggers, who runs the ESL program and is a Wellesley Friendly Aid board member. "It can be isolating when you move to Wellesley, but through these classes we've developed a real sense of community. Some wonderful friendships have developed." Of course, it's not just adults who struggle when faced with finan- cial challenges and other stresses. Children can sometimes have an even harder time, especially when they attend Wellesley Public Schools with classmates who return from school vacations and summer break with tales of exciting adventures. This is where the Wellesley Friendly Aid Summer Camp Fund comes in, providing money to send any- where from 40 to 65 children to camp every summer. The program is a particular favorite for Peter Johannsen, who has been president of the Wellesley Friendly Aid board for over 30 years. "Summer camp for children who are in financial need can perhaps be more important than for a child who is well off," says Johansen. "The poor family and the children don't have the opportunity to have the life experiences that broaden them and help them grow." At the end of the day, Wellesley Friendly Aid is a place for residents to turn when they need help. "Wellesley is a caring town," says Johannsen. "And we are one of many organizations that help people live a better life." 138 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 5 FOR MORE INFORMATION on ways to support Wellesley Friendly Aid, please visit its website at www.wellesleyfriendlyaid.org. Neighbors Helping Neighbors C O U R T E S Y O F W E L L E S L E Y F R I E N D L Y A I D S O C I E T Y Wellesley Friendly Aid Summer Camp Fund provides money to send anywhere from 40 to 65 children to camp every summer.

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