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Providing friendship and a home away from home to students.

For international students that arrive in Bloomington to study, there are many hurdles to overcome in order to adapt to the American college lifestyle. Beyond the classroom, making new friends and creating a community when thousands of miles away from home can be a difficult challenge.

volunteer Kate Kroll Kate Kroll (left) is a dedicated volunteer for BWF.Kate Kroll, an active member of the Bloomington Worldwide Friendship program, reaches out to these students and provides them a loving and unique family experience that encourages and supports these students with the new lives in Bloomington. While some of the activities organized by the BWF are group-related, Kate extends more of her own personal time with her new friends, inviting them to her own home for holidays, and sharing her excitement and energy towards these student's successes in school.

Some students stay in Bloomington for as little as 1 year, and some for more than 4, either way, Kate plans yearly to meet with these students, and rarely misses a group program. No task is overlooked by her, and she is willing to go so far as to cook hundreds of meals and baked goods for these events, and shares her experiences and stories with BWF friends to help them feel connected. "She gives of herself generously to all without concern of what she is getting out of it," says the co-president of BWF, Harriet Kulis. This "bundle of constant energy" does all her work with "grace and humility." By putting the needs of others before herself, Kate truly can be defined as the "volunteer with the most-est!"

Learn more about how to get involved with Bloomington Worldwide Friendship here.