AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO THE MCOW COMMUNITY & OUR FRIENDS
ABOUT THE 2021 – 2022 PROGRAM YEAR:
Out of an abundance of caution and in line with our guiding principle of Safety First in all we do, the MCOW Board of Directors has decided to cancel the 2021-2022 exchange. Last week we were notified that the James Hargest College Board of Trustees canceled the trip for the New Zealand students and adults scheduled to arrive in September 2021. This week the MCOW Board voted to not have a group of Student Ambassadors, Teacher Leaders, and Parent Chaperones travel to New Zealand in February 2022. This decision was not made lightly and is the result of a great deal of careful consideration, given its significance in the history of the MCOW program. For 31 continuous years, we have taken students to New Zealand each February, until a year ago when the pandemic forced us to cancel this year’s trip. While frustrating and difficult, the Board believes that canceling the February 2022 trip is the best course of action given the circumstances. Since its inception in 1989, the program has changed lives because of the connections made and the discoveries encountered around every corner. Sending our Student Ambassadors on this Kiwi adventure has become a familiar and safe experience for us, and it will be again in 2022-2023. But for now, we still find ourselves in the midst of a very unusual time, given the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having around the world. For most of us, life has changed in profound ways, and the only thing that seems certain is uncertainty, still. The simple fact is we don’t know what to expect or how this will continue to impact our daily lives in the coming weeks and months. While this message is somber, the MCOW Board of Directors is committed to make the most of this unique year and we invite you to join us. In disappointment there is often resilience, discovery, and growth.
Was your student planning to be an Ambassador or planning to host a Kiwi? CLICK HERE to let us know so we can consider fun, new ways of connecting these students during the next year. (Note that the Board has decided to allow students who will be in the eighth grade to apply to participate in the February 2023 trip.)
Are you interested in helping with the annual Meeker Holiday Bazaar in November? CLICK HERE to let us know that we can add you and/or your student to the list of volunteers needed for the Holiday Bazaar team.
Do you love attending the MCOW Gala Dinner & Auction? While we won't have a traditional auction event this year, we are considering how to bring together our amazing MCOW Community in a gratitude event. CLICK HERE if you want to help us create an unforgettable evening in celebration of the MCOW program.
Do you shop at Fred Meyer or Amazon? Please consider signing up with Kroger Rewards and Amazon Smile to help support MCOW. Once you do, your shopping dollars will be added with others and will turn into a donation to MCOW from these companies. These funds will help us to cover the expenses (for regulatory, technical, and business requirements) that we will continue to have this year to operate the program.
While we have decided to forego the exchange trip in February 2022, we fully intend to make our 2021-2022 program year count. We plan to make this year central to the core foundation of this program -- connections with other people. Let's stay connected. Let's stay safe. Let's make the most of the year ahead and work together to keep the MCOW program strong and vibrant for all the years to come.
Thank you for being a part of the MCOW community! Mihi Koe.
Allison, Amy, Annette, Charles, Louann, and Stephan
MCOW Board of Directors for 2021-2022