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Flavorful Prizes

Are you ready for some flavor? Treat yourself for a day of flavor on Thursday, October 23, 2014 by enjoying a meal out at a participating restaurant. Restaurants are donating 25% of your food bill to programs and services that strengthen the lives of immigrants, refugees and other community members throughout the Puget Sound region.

And, did we mention you’ll have the opportunity to win some exciting prizes by supporting Flavor? All you have to do is stand up for immigrants while sitting down for a meal on Thursday, October 23.

  • Grand Prize: 7-day/6-night tropical vacation. Choose between two luxurious locations: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico or St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Enjoy your stay at a condo that sleeps 4 comfortably.  Airfare not included.  Other restrictions apply. Valued at $1,750. Donated by Anonymous.
  • First Prize: Salon Escape Spa. Enjoy a year of designer haircuts at an official Aveda salon. Guests enjoy six cuts from a remarkable stylist. Valued at $225. Donated by Bradley Rollins.
  • Second Prize: Northwest Trek and Woodland Park Zoo Family Passes. Have fun with the family and explore the Puget Sound’s wild side. Valued at $140. Donated by Northwest Trek and Woodland Park Zoo
  • Third Prize: Stadium Art & Wine Walk Tickets + Wine Basket. Wine lovers rejoice! Indulge in 4 tickets to Tacoma’s Stadium Art & Wine Walk and a wine basket that will make sommeliers jealous. Valued at $140. Donated by TCH’s Board of Directors

Entry form provided at participating restaurants. 

Fast Lane to Employment

Ready to find employment, but not sure where to start? Crash Course to Employment is an intensive two-week employment readiness program providing job seekers the tools they need to be successful in their careers. During the workshop participants learn about:

  • Goal setting
  • Job search techniques
  • Tailoring resumes and cover letters
  • Job placement services
  • And more

The employment team at Tacoma Community House is dedicated to preparing individuals for a competitive job market. Upon completion of the workshop, participants are prepared to find employment on their own or receive job placement services with help from a TCH Job Developer.

The fall workshop begins on September 15, 2014 and runs through September 25, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Those who are interested in participating in the workshop must attend an information session at Tacoma Community House:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 11 at 9:00 a.m.

Download the Crash Course to Employment Flyer

Meet Safiah

When Safiah first came to the United States, she depended almost entirely on her husband to interpret the strange and confusing language and culture so alien from the Yemeni village where she grew up. Since then, she has come to trust another reliable source of information and assistance, where she feels as much at home as in her own apartment: Tacoma Community House. “I have good people here. They’re like my family,” said Safiah, who credits her growing English skills and self confidence in part to the patience, generosity and compassion of her TCH teachers.

With three youngsters still at home, and a husband who sometimes works overseas, it’s been hard for Safiah to commit to a regular class schedule. But for about a dozen years, she’s valued TCH as a fountainhead of knowledge and assistance, not only for herself, but for other Arabic speakers. “I bring all my friends here,” she said. In English and citizenship classes, she’s encountered students from all over the world: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Mexico, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan. “They accept all the people from all the places, from all different cultures,” Safiah said.

She cherishes the camaraderie of fellow language learners. Malapropisms and pronunciation mistakes are common. “I’m all the time making mistakes, but the teachers say, ‘It’s okay, we’ll get it right in the future.” She recalled one lesson when students suggested home remedies for a cold. Safiah offered tea and soap. The faces of classmates immediately turned quizzical. “Tea and what, Safiah?” the teacher asked. “Soap, soap. What? Do I say something wrong?” Safiah responded. “Soap is for the laundry,” said the teacher. “Oh,” said Safiah. Everybody laughed.

Now in advanced classes, Safiah would like to go on to earn a GED. “Until now, I’m not good for speaking English, but I try.” In her case, the difficulty is compounded by the fact that she has had almost no formal education. As a child, she was taught to write her name and read Arabic, but little more. Instead, she was prepared for marriage. The mother of five adult children, Safiah was a divorcee when her husband returned to his native country to find a wife about 15 years ago. Before the marriage, they were not permitted to meet. Safiah could only sneak a peek at her future husband from afar. But when she recalls what went through her head at the time, her eyes light up. “He’s an American,” she said to herself. “This will change my life forever.”

Fortunately, the marriage has been a success, and she credits her husband, Moses, a merchant marine seaman, with easing the transition to American culture. And with help from TCH, she’s become a citizen and learned enough English to get a driver’s license. She’s also made new friends. One is a pharmacist from Russia. “I’d love to be able to say, ‘Good morning,’ in Russian,” Safiah said. “But it’s too hard.”

Special thanks to Susan Gordon, former News Tribune writer and one of TCH’s fabulous volunteers, who wrote this article.

Jasmine Bakery is Awesome

Tacoma Community House and Jasmine Bakery have an almost 20-year relationship, sending English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Education clients to Bob Miller at Jasmine Bakery for employment. Bob runs a family-owned bakery and encourages his employees – who come from all over the world – to only speak English at work, no matter what their level. He really likes hiring ESL students, as they want to work, they are willing to learn and try different jobs, and they have a great overall work ethic. He also finds having a multi-cultural work force makes a good team – they like learning about each other’s backgrounds and form close working relationships.

Bob encourages his employees to go to school and is willing to work around people’s schedules for classes. He wants them to grab every opportunity afforded them here in the United States.

Meet Duy

Duy Nguyen Pham took English as a Second Language classes at Tacoma Community House (TCH) for six months at the end of 2012, moving from ESL level 2 to level 4. He also sought services from the Employment Department which led to a job he enjoys. A few months ago, he started his job as a maintenance technician at Jasmine Bakery. He works on fixing motors, maintaining beaters and working different bread machines. He was an electrician in his home country of Vietnam, so this job is a great fit for him. He misses his classes at TCH, especially his teacher, but working and taking care of his family is his priority. His eight month old daughter is number one with him right now, but he will encourage her to go to school, especially college, because “college is important.” He plans to come back to school soon though, as “school helps with anything!”

Help more individuals like Duy by making a contribution today. Click here to donate.