Virtual July luncheon

June 29, 2020



How is everyone?!  We are practically strangers; haven’t seen any of you since March!!!  That’s 4 months!!!
Most recently I and several of our members who home hosted the Australians from the Sunshine Coast met virtually!!! It was incredible!  We spent an hour “zooming.” Much information was exchanged and I was so disappointed I couldn’t come close to all of the gatherings their Club has had!
They have had virtual happy hours, teas, and most recently they were working on how they could actually get together for a picnic!!  My apologies to you for not having encouraged meeting virtually any sooner!!  Y’all surprised me when only 1 asked for assistance in preparing for the Zoom meeting!
I need your support, your enthusiasm, your determination to make our first virtual gathering a success.  A few weeks ago, I asked who had an interest and about 15 replied.  Friends, there are over 70 members!  I thought we had a “captured audience” for Zoom events!
We have Joseph Badal, an author of 16 award-winning suspense novels, including Payback, which was released May 12 as our guest speaker!!  He is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble Best-Selling Author, a two-time winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize, a three-time Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal Winner, an Eric Hoffer Prize Winner, and a two-time “Finalist” in the International Book Awards competition.
He must be good!!!
Mr. Badal will be talking about his most recent book, Payback, and how his characters evolve in his award-winning suspense novels!!  Join us for a Virtual Luncheon!!!

Please make your reservations no later than Tuesday,  July 7, 2020, by calling or texting Berta Wagstaff at 505-710-4448 or emailing her at

PLACE:          In the comfort of your home!

DATE:             Saturday, July 11, 2020

TIME:              11:30 am – 1:00 pm

COST:              FREE!!!

LUNCH:           Whatever you have been craving for!

Notification of the Zoom link will be sent out to all who have RSVP’d.

I look forward to virtually seeing you!  Let’s make our first virtual gathering a success!



FFI: The friendship connection

June 18, 2020


In this issue…

  • Virtual Events: Connecting on a Theme
  • 2019 Annual Report
  • A Heartfelt “Thank You” to Our Generous Donors
  • Planning 2022 Matching Timeline
In case you missed it…
  • Embrace This Moment
  • “Continuing Our Journey” Campaign Update
Virtual Events: Connecting on a Theme

If you’ve got a webcam and an internet connection, a whole world of friendship is open to you

Read more…

2019 Annual Report

A year-end snapshot of 2019 for Friendship Force International

View Report…

A Heartfelt “Thank You” to Our Generous Donors

We sincerely appreciate all who donated for Friendship Force’s future

Read more…

Planning Department’s 2022 Matching Timeline

A schedule of important dates to remember while planning for 2022 Journeys

Read more…

In Case You Missed It…
“Continuing Our Journey” Update
Embrace This Moment
Friendship Force has a NEW mailing address!

279 West Crogan Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30046 USA

The Friendship Connection is a new periodical email newsletter focused on keeping our members informed with up-to-date happenings from the organization. 


FFI: Faces and Places in Brazil

June 12, 2020

Faces and Places in Brazil


WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020 at 8:00 PM EST

Please join us as we explore “Faces and Places” in Brazil! Thiago Lorena from the FF of Ribeirao Preto will take us on a virtual trip through Brazil, giving us highlights of the sights and sounds of his home country. He’ll share about his life and culture, as well as what you can expect when you visit this beautiful country.
Meet the Webinar Host:

My name is Thiago Lorena.  I’m 38 and have lived most of my life in the Southeast region of Brazil, in the São Paulo State. I teach English classes and love it! It’s the best job I’ve ever had! I have been a Member of FF Ribeirão Preto Club since 2017. In November, 2018, I coordinated a global Journey to Brazil (Fortaleza and Amazon Village) with 15 ambassadors: 10 Americans and five Canadians. It was an amazing experience to share some of the most beautiful landscapes of my country with them! In September 2019, I also led a Journey to Canada (Calgary/Toronto/Haliburton) which I really enjoyed. Some of my additional interests include nature, sports, music, art, hiking, rafting, history, and geography.

First time using GoToMeeting?

Download the app now to be prepared for your first meeting:

We know that, unfortunately, not every webinar is a convenient time for all of our members in different time zones around the world. If this one is not at a good time, check out our Events Calendar for other webinars that might work better for you!

This email is being sent to all Friendship Force members and subscribers to our mailing list.

July and August events

June 8, 2020
It seems like a loooooong time since we have made contact!
No doubt there have been changes in all of our lives.  I’m known to have a black thumb; however, I have a beautiful blooming garden and green grass!  No doubt you have an idea of where I have been spending some of my down time!!!
We have 2 events scheduled for the months of July and August.  The success of these events are dependent on the participation of our members.  We would appreciate knowing whether you would support the events.  Your feedback is needed!!!
The Board would like to offer a Zoom Luncheon Meeting:
Date:  Saturday, July 11, 2020
Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Guest Speaker:
Our anticipated guest speaker is Joseph Badal, a published author who recently had his 16th novel released, Payback, a suspense novel.  He is a two-time winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize.
1.  How many think they would be available for the July Zoom Luncheon?
2.  How many need instruction in setting up the computer for the Zoom meeting?
PLEASE reply to Berta Wagstaff, by Saturday, June 13.
August is our social event and a progressive brunch.
Date:  Saturday, August 15, 2020
Time:  11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Place:  Appetizers & Main Entree’ at Ginger Grossetete’s home
            Dessert at Judith Mead’s home
A limit of 24 members would be necessary and preventive measures would be applied regarding Covid-19.  RSVP will be on a first come basis.
PLEASE let Berta Wagstaff know whether you would have an interest in participating by June 13.
Currently we need a TENTATIVE headcount.  Your replies will determine whether the July and August events will occur.
Any questions, please contact Berta Wagstaff by text/phone – 505-710-4448 or reply to the email.
Friendship Knows No Distance!  Remain healthy & safe!
Berta Wagstaff

FFI: Continuing the journey

For subtitles, click on the “Settings” gear icon at the bottom of the video, select “Subtitles/CC”, and then choose your desired language. 

June 8, 2020

Over the past two months, members from around the world have shown amazing solidarity and support for the ongoing mission of Friendship Force beyond the pandemic. Collectively, you have raised more than $300,000 USD.  Although fundraising will continue through the end of the year, we are asking those who have been considering a monetary gift to FFI to make one in the month of June. This will give the Board of Directors a clear picture for financial planning in 2021 and beyond as we assess recovery. It will also mark a shift in communications as we retire the formal drive for donations and focus more fully on virtual activities and programs to support club cohesiveness.

For all who have given already to Friendship Force, THANK YOU! For those who have been considering a gift to FFI, I hope you consider one today!

This email is being sent to all Friendship Force members and subscribers to our mailing list.

FFI: Embracing this moment

Embracing This Moment
A Personal Message from FFI President/CEO Jeremi Snook

Life is filled with moments. There are moments that bring so much joy to our being that just a fleeting thought of them brings a smile to our face. There are moments too that have left scars so deep that we wince at their recollection. All of these moments contributed in some way to who we are today. ‘Building bridges of understanding across the barriers that separate people’ is the call-to-action that has brought thousands of people around the world to join Friendship Force. The stories from our FF experiences continue to prove that the moments we create, the moments we embrace, change us. But change can only happen when we set our own preconceived ideas and judgements aside in order to be fully present in the moment.

While we wait for a vaccine, for international flights to resume, for our next Journey to take place, and to hear from our news and leaders what will happen next – a bigger journey continues, filled with moments that will define us. Right now is one of those moments.

The protests taking place in the United States – and indeed around the world – are a sobering reminder about why our organization remains relevant, and they are proof that you don’t need to get on an airplane to be changed by an experience. For many of us in the US, teaching our children or our grandchildren about institutional racism, health, and income disparities – and the long road ahead for our country to heal from its racist past – is a choice each of us must make. Unseating generations of prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination is a daily practice of making a conscious decision to be better today than we were yesterday.

For Friendship Force members, we know all too well the power of embracing the diversity that exists in the world. We understand that in order to expand our world view and build connections with countries and cultures different from our own, we may feel uncomfortable when faced with something new. But we embrace the discomfort, because we know in the end we will be better for it. However, our mission doesn’t start when we go through customs at the airport; it starts as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. We make a conscious decision to open our minds and our hearts so that we can better understand the world around us and allow that understanding to change us.

As a member of the Friendship Force, I recognize that I can make a difference. I recognize that I have a mission. That mission is to be a friend to the people of the world. As I embark upon this adventure, I know that others will be watching me. I know that through my example to my fellow citizens and the people of other countries, the cause of friendship and peace can be furthered.

This moment in the United States is about a long unresolved undercurrent of institutional racism, sparked by the unnecessary death of George Floyd. Although what we see on the news and in cities around the world is a collective response, it is an individual choice to change the world around us. This is what Friendship Force, at its core, is about. I challenge each of us to look for ways within our own communities and countries where the mission of Friendship Force can further humanity.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and just as importantly, stay committed to the bigger journey and embrace this moment.

– Jeremi Snook
This email is being sent to all Friendship Force members and subscribers to our mailing list.