FFIS News for October 2019

ffis news

The UO academic year has started and so are FFIS’ programs. It’s time for an update on our activities.


Fundraiser: Hop Valley Brewing is donating $1 to FFIS for every pint served between 5:00 and 8:00 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 16.  Invite a friend, enjoy a craft beer, and help FFIS raise money.  Hop Valley is located in the Whiteaker neighborhood at 990 W. 1st Avenue in Eugene.  Other fundraising opportunities can be viewed here.


Fall Homestay Program: Forty-five host families opened their hearts and homes to 57 newly arrived international students attending the University of Oregon.  FFIS surveyed our host families and the homestay students.  You can read some of the feedback on these blog posts:


Welcome Picnic: Several hundred international students from the University of Oregon and Lane Community College enjoyed food, fun, and new friendships Saturday, Sept. 21, at Alton Baker Park. The UO Duck and LCC Titan mascots stopped by. Paul Harvey’s pictures captured the activities on a sunny fall day.

FFIS Welcome Picnic

The picnic began with Steering Committee introductions and words of welcome from:

A picnic this size can’t happen without volunteer and community contributions such as:

  • Host families who came and brought large salads
  • LCC students who were invaluable with setup, food service, and clean up
  • Lane Community College for providing rice and salads
  • Paul Harvey and Susie Peters for cooking the 300 hot dogs served
  • Trader Joe’s for providing cookies and watermelon and having a table there with some giveaway items
  • Bi-Mart for providing the plates and napkins
  • Cash & Carry for providing a gift card we used to purchase cups
  • Steering Committee members, especially co-chairs Cindee Robertson and Deanna Brandt

Conversation Friend Program: We can always use more volunteers!  If you’re interested in learning more or participating, send an e-mail to FFIS.ConversationFriends@gmail.com.  Craig Biersdorff or June Brooks will be in touch with you to answer your questions.  Matching for the fall term will begin in October.


Share Thanksgiving: If you’re interested in sharing your Thanksgiving tradition with an international student (or two), let us know by sending an e-mail to FFIS@UOregon.edu.

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Hungry international students preparing to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner

Mark Your Calendar
Share Thanksgiving – November 28
Winter Homestay – Dec. 28 to Jan. 4


FFIS Steering Committee – Any member is welcome to attend our Steering Committee meetings.  We meet at 11:30 am on the first Wednesday of every month from Sept. through June in the second-floor conference room at Umpqua Bank, 675 Oak St., near the Hult Center and Lane County Courthouse. If you’d like to get on the agenda, send an e-mail in advance to FFIS President Matthew Fisher at ffiseugene@gmail.com.

Thank you for offering your time and talents, your home and hospitality, to international students far from their home and families! You become like a second family to them and your heartfelt generosity fosters enormous goodwill. That in a nutshell is what FFIS’ mission is all about. Your comments, feedback, and suggestions are always welcome.

Thank You 01


Your FFIS Steering Committee

Chair & Treasurer – Matthew Fisher (541-255-0626 or mfisher333@gmail.com)
Secretary – Open

Conversation Friend Coordinators:
June Brooks (541-714-7735 or ffis.conversationfriends@gmail.com)
Craig Biersdorff (541-517-7652 or ffis.conversationfriends@gmail.com)

Committee Chairs:

Fundraising – Deanna Brandt
Media – Rick Obst
Volunteer Retention – Kent Henricksen
Volunteer Recruitment – Jean McClain
Welcome Picnic – Cindee Robertson and Deanna Brandt

Other Steering Committee Members – Paul Harvey and Ray Slaughter. 

U of O Liaison – Becky Megerssa
LCC Liaison – Tomomi Kurosaki


If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.
If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.
If you want to touch the future, touch a life.

Host Family and Students