A year-end message from FFI’s 2019 board chair

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Dear Friends,

2019 – our 43rd year – has been a good one for Friendship Force.

We are fortunate to have amongst our membership so many committed volunteer leaders who ensure that Journeys continue, keep our clubs operating, and fully understand the absolute importance of our existence in a world that often has difficulty getting its act together. To every single member everywhere, thank you for your participation in 2019.

Thank you for traveling on Journeys, thank you for hosting, thank you for providing meals, thank you for spreading the word, thank you for contributing financial support, and thank you for simply being a member.

Those of us whose history with Friendship Force goes back a long way may find it difficult to cope with the ways in which modern living has altered the structure of clubs. However, there is more than one way to handle this scenario and, believe me, the staff, CEO, and Board of Directors are dedicated to finding the best way forward. Like they say in the movies –

“No Friendship Force member has been, or will be harmed in the making of this future.”

It is wonderful to think back on everything that has happened over these almost 43 years – the hosts and ambassadors on Journeys that have formed innumerable friendships, the joy and excitement shared when learning about those different than ourselves, and the many lessons learned along the way!

Ours is an organization for all people and all time. Its future is in our hands. Let’s each of us play our part.

In friendship and peace,

From our new FFNM president

  • Happy Holiday and Happy New Year
    Dear Friends
    My name is Bill Bertenshaw. I will be your president for the coming
    year. As this year comes to a close I have had a chance to reflect on the
    accomplishments of the past year board of directors and their
    administration along with all the members that work so hard to
    improve our club. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
    The New Year is drawing to a close and I am excited about the
    opportunities and challenges that we together will face. The
    development of a number of committees will help in
    coordinating our membership, our social programs, improvement
    to our web site and to both inbound and outbound journeys.
    Thank you again and have Happy Holidays for you and yours.
    See you in 2020.
    Bill Bertenshaw

Friendship Force cruise

Give Yourself the Gift of a Friendship Force Cruise this Holiday Season!

PLUS, New Incentives to register for the 2020 Festival at Sea Cruise

For Friendship Force cruisers, time together on the ship is marked by two distinct activities. The first is a series of structured talks during our days at sea. Here are some of the workshops we are putting together for this cruise:
1. Travel as a Political Act
Based on Rick Steve’s popular book, this session will help participants better understand how the simple act of traveling can play a profound role in combating xenophobia and expand our world view.
2. The Power of Friendship
An in-depth look at what research tells us about our biological disposition towards social connection and how science proves the power behind the force of friendship.
3. Friendship Force 2.0
After celebrating 40 years of global friendship in 2017, we are working on ensuring that the next 40 years are vibrant and successful. We will take this opportunity to give you more information on some exciting developments taking place at FFI and how each one of us plays an integral role in its success.

The second part of what makes a Festival at Sea special is the opportunity to meet fellow cruise participants and do what Friendship Force does best, build new connections! With interactive games and scripted activities, we will have lots of chances to create new friendships.

New Incentives from Holland America
December 5, 2019 – January 17, 2020
  • FREE onboard spending money ($75 inside & oceanview, $150 Verandah, $200 Suites per stateroom)
  • FREE or reduced fares for kids
  • 10% off select shore excursions
  • 50% reduced deposit
  • FREE stateroom upgrades to a better location within the same category
  • Suite guests also receive PREPAID gratuities.
  • PLUS, book by January 17, 2020 and get one $50 beverage card per guest
Register for the 2020 Festival at Sea Cruise

Kick off this charitable season with Friendship Force

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Help change the world for the better with your gift to Friendship Force on Giving Tuesday!
Dear Friendship Force Members,

Tomorrow, December 3, is GivingTuesday – the movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the holiday season. We hope you will join our efforts in this movement by donating what you can to our Annual Fund. Click here to go to the donation page to make your donation.

Since its founding in 1977, Friendship Force International has touched the lives of more than a million people. But we know that we cannot stop here because our mission is needed now more than ever.

We want more people to know that when you go on a Journey with Friendship Force, you experience the daily lives, food, art, history, and language of other people of other cultures on a deeply personal level.

Your gift to Friendship Force International on Giving Tuesday will help us to expand programs that transform travelers and volunteer hosts as they experience the magic that happens only when hearts and homes are open to each other. FFI aims to expand its network of 15,000 members to 25,000 or more, creating more friendships and better cultural understanding than ever before.

You, our amazing members, carry out our mission each time you travel, host, donate, and spread the word about Friendship Force. You know what it feels like to discover alongside your new friends that you have more in common with each other than differences, and that you can build connections instead of divisions. With your contribution, we can continue our work to build a more peaceful world together through exploration, hospitality, and understanding.

Thank you for your gift!

Yours in friendship,

Jeremi Snook
President & CEO
Friendship Force International
Donate Here!