Over 100 people came together at San Francisco’s Wah Ying Club on Monday, August 7th in recognition of J Day, a nationwide celebration of J-1 international exchange. CHI participants from Work & Travel, Internship/Training and Au Pair were invited, and over 15 countries were represented. Guests also included host employers as well as fellow American coworkers and friends.
In keeping with the theme, “Eat. Play. Give”, CHI partnered with Together We Rise in creating duffle bag care packages for foster youth. All participants were asked to give back by bringing something for the duffel bags (example: toy, game, book, school/art supplies). Once donations were made, these duffle bags were decorated with fun pictures and kind words of encouragement.
Special guest Derick Brown, San Francisco’s Chief Deputy Director of Neighborhood Services, attended as a representative of the city’s Mayor’s office, and gave a short speech welcoming our J-1 participants to the San Francisco Bay Area on behalf of Mayor Ed Lee. Derick noted how impressed the city is with the J-1 program, and how proud it is to be a popular host community.
The afternoon was filled with games such as trivia, Bingo, Twister, “Minute to Win It” and musical chairs. In the spirit of the theme of Summer of Love (2017 marks 50 years since that cultural touchstone), participants made friendship bracelets and dressed up in flower headbands, beaded necklaces, and colored sunglasses, before the ensembles were completed with face painted peace signs.
Winners of the games and photo contests took home great prizes, including tickets to see Lady Gaga in concert at AT&T Park and gift certificates to local tourist attractions and restaurants.
As the event wound down, the celebrations concluded with lots of pizza and a J Day themed cake for everyone to share. J-1 participants left the party with new J Day t-shirts and CHI goodie bags!