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She moved to Texas from Ohio three years ago. Stout is not alone.
According to the U. Census Bureau, between mid and mid, Texas receivednew residents, the largest population increase of any state in the nation. She knew she had to make the effort to reach out and meet new people on her own, so she turned to the internet for help.
Now, Stout holds a board position and is actively involved in the many activity programs provided by NFGP, she estimates about 12 a year. While COVID health recommendations have put a stall to or increased restrictions on community gatherings, the group has managed to adapt by using the video conferencing application, Zoom.
Though some events have had to be postponed tolike their monthly Program Meetings and annual fundraiser, NFGP is still hosting coffee meet-and-greets and their annual Activity Fair online. The Activity Fair has been adapted to a Adobe Acrobat presentation with slides listing the more than 40 groups they offer, including descriptions. Members and prospective members will have access to the document until December Potential members are able to test or try out activity groups they are interested in for 30 days.
Potential members who later in the year can also expect to have a prorated membership fee to accommodate for missed activities and meetings.
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NFGP activity groups accommodate many different interests, including happy hour gatherings from home, card games, book clubs, dancing, singing, charity, crafting, cooking, and in pre-COVID times, trying new food at restaurants or visiting local landmarks, for example. Then over Zoom, on the scheduled date, members cook the same dish together through instruction from Chef Sharon.
Other activity leaders have adjusted their groups in similar ways to adapt to long-distance socializing, with much success according to Stout. NFGP, a c 7 nonprofit organization, provides a social service to neighboring communities, and also does charity work when able.
The group has an established scholarship partnered with Collin College to give to a nursing student who meets the criteria for the scholarship. For anyone interested in more information on NFGP visit: newcomerfriends. Emily is a freelance writer and artist.
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