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Blog > A Home far away from Home – My Journey with HCC

A Home far away from Home – My Journey with HCC

By Mingyi He – HCC Intern, Volunteer, and Student Group Member

Two years ago, I came to the U.S alone. What I felt on the day I arrived at the airport was not a stereotypical feeling of fear or loneliness. I felt a warm sense of homecoming because an elderly lady from HCC had come to pick me up and talked with me all the way home. Through her, I meet this new community, a non-profit organization that is passionate about uniting Chinese people and Americans by exchanges of culture, friendship, and faith. So, on my first day in here, I felt cared for and strongly connected.

Because of the same philosophy—a strong willingness to help others and consider their needs a priority in my own—I become a volunteer at HCC. Throughout these two years, I made social media posts, translation, and flyers for various events. All of this was to communicate with international students and their families, and understand what they needed and then provide resources such as furniture, upcoming friendship meals, recreational outings, transportation for grocery shopping, and information about student housing. All these responsibilities allow me to achieve my goal: helping people in our HCC community have a better life in Minnesota and feel cared for.

Being a volunteer for a long-term is hard sometimes, but once I see how the work I do positively affects our community—people feel welcomed and are treated with hospitality and respect, so they also learned how to live successfully in this new environment—I feel all the efforts I have made are worthwhile. Especially, when I helped new students find free host families and let them learn about different cultures through HCC, they told me their emotional transition from hating Minnesota’s cold to having fun during snow through our reassuring and supporting.

For me, HCC is like a new home for me. Even though we are not real biological family members, we share the same philosophy, a mental blood, to work together to serve Chinese people in all aspects.  Our team is bonded together by community and systems as a whole, a tight relationship beyond blood.

Now, two years later, I will go to another state alone. Will I have the same feelings like the first day coming to Minnesota? I don’t know, but I’m not scared of that because HCC roots a strong belief in my mind, letting me realize that there is always someone who is willing to care and support me.

This is my journey with HCC, a home far away from home.

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