Borderless Friends Forever is an organization developed from my own personal passion for international education. In August of 2006 my life changed forever when my family and I decided to host Karolin from Germany. Little did I know at that time, but my journey was about to take an unexpected turn.
Karolin brought with her something very special that changed me. It wasn’t a gift that I needed to open, but rather one to which I needed to be open. She came with a curiosity and an excitement that renewed the world around me. Everything I did became new again because she had never seen it, done it, heard it, or tasted it. It made me see my world with a fresh perspective. Even a trip to the grocery store suddenly seemed exciting!
With this excitement came possibility. I became intrigued by the host family / exchange student relationship. Letting our sweet KK go back to Germany was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. It became obvious to me that the only way to survive that “loss” was to host again – enter Christopher, also from Germany. Again, a lovely experience, albeit different. Chris is an amazing young man, with much to offer to the world and taught me so much about myself. Did you know that, Chris?
Well, I was hooked, and my family has graciously jumped on board with my passion and we have now hosted 22 exchange students. Ten of these beautiful people; Karolin, Christopher, Mon, Kike, Noemi, John, Seung Ju, Nora, Yvan, and Rubens have been with us for an entire school year, while many others were here for short-term programs. These kids have infinitely blessed us and we are eternally grateful that their families shared them with us!
During this time of my own personal journey, I have helped many families have the same experience and have helped create relationships that I know will last a lifetime. Just like I have been infinitely blessed with my own students, I have been blessed to be put in the path of so many wonderful host families who have opened their hearts and homes to students over these last 8 years. The generosity, love, and grace of these individuals never cease to amaze me! It’s the kind of generosity that truly opens one’s heart and soul to help a child experience a life-changing time, even though they may not always see it that way at the moment. It’s the kind of love that allows you to truly love another mother’s child as your own, knowing that you have to return them. It’s the kind of grace that allows forgiveness in those times where perhaps it would be easier to quit. This generosity, this love, this grace is what is helping us build bridges across cultures and truly opens the world up to more possibility for peace. For these families that are willing and able to add to our mission, I am eternally grateful!
In addition to all of the wonderful students and families that have touched my lives, I have been equally blessed to know a team of dedicated people who are constantly striving to ensure the safety and well-being of these students. These folks are tirelessly dedicated to their students and host families. They understand our mission, they believe in what we do and they are proud to be a part of this unique experience. I am proud to know them and even more proud to call them part of my team!
It is this passion, created by this beautiful journey that has allowed me the opportunity to start Borderless Friends Forever. I am extremely excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. I know that we will continue to passionately create life-changing experiences for all involved!
Crystal Allis, Executive Director