Betty Bledsoe of Indianapolis, Indiana Receives the Global Ties U.S. Volunteer of the Year Award

Mother of 11 has opened her home to 200 international leaders from around the world.
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Washington - District of Columbia - US


WASHINGTON - May 2, 2014 - PRLog -- Today, Global Ties U.S. honored Betty Bledsoe, adoptive mother of 11 special needs children and volunteer with the International Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, with the Lorrine Emery Award for Volunteer Service. The award recognizes a community-based volunteer who demonstrates an enduring dedication to building international understanding as well as an outstanding volunteer spirit. As a home hospitality volunteer, Ms. Bledsoe has acted as an exemplary citizen diplomat by hosting an estimated 200 international exchange program participants for dinner and other activities, such as attending Indiana Pacers basketball games.

Ms. Bledsoe opens up her home to international visitors so that her children can experience the world from their own dining room. Her children do thorough research prior to each visit so they will know all about the countries represented by their guests. They also help prepare, serve and clean up after every meal and often personally make and present gifts to their international guests.

The profound positive impact Ms. Bledsoe and her family have on building international understanding is clear from the international leaders who experience her hospitality first hand. One group leader reflected that “it is not an understatement to say that the three visitors lucky enough to be invited to Ms. Bledsoe’s home may have been changed forever . . . and the humble, but impossibly gracious reception she reserved for the delegation were a true inspiration.” An exchange program participant from Pakistan said “meeting with Betty Bledsoe and her 11… children was the most powerful, life-changing experience I've had since I came to the U.S.”

Ms. Bledsoe hosts these international leaders as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand, explore best practices, cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts, and connect one-on-one with Americans like Ms. Bledsoe. Global Ties U.S. is the nonprofit partner of the U.S. Department of State in implementing the IVLP.The International Center, as a member of Global Ties U.S., conducts the program locally in Indianapolis.

Global Ties U.S. President Jennifer Clinton, Ph.D.,  said, “Betty and her family embody, in the purest way, the spirit of citizen diplomacy and the profound impact international exchange and people-to-people connections can have in building a more peaceful and prosperous world. We are honored and privileged to recognize Betty Bledsoe and her family with the 2014 Lorinne Emery Award for Volunteer Service.”

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About Global Ties U.S.
Collin Burden,, 202-683-6062

When business, nonprofit, government, and academic leaders from around the world connect with their counterparts in the U.S. through international exchange programs, the relationships they forge become a powerful tool for addressing some of our biggest global challenges.

For over 50 years, Global Ties U.S. (formerly the National Council for International Visitors) has been making these kinds of connections possible. As a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Department of State, we sustain a network that coordinates international exchange programs and brings current and future leaders from around the world to communities throughout the United States. We provide our members—from large, national organizations to smaller, community-based ones across 44 states and 13 countries—with connections, leadership development, and professional resources, so that they are the strongest, most effective organizations they can be.

The leaders who participate in international exchanges—and the communities that host them—benefit from greater knowledge, further understanding, and deeper relationships. These shared experiences result in stronger local communities and a more peaceful, prosperous world. Learn more at

About the International Center
Billie J. Fouts,, 317.955.5150, ext. 222

For the past 40 years, The International Center has served as a catalyst for Indiana’s international growth. Working in collaboration with businesses, organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and individual citizens, The Center expands Indiana’s global interest in a variety of ways:

We prepare people and organizations to welcome international dignitaries and visitors, and to foster strong relationships abroad.

We help assimilate professionals and their families who relocate to Indiana from around the world.

Our multinational staff provides global competency training and protocol services to businesses and organizations seeking to bridge countries and cultures, and expand relationships with international colleagues and counterparts.

Our Asian Learning Center of Indiana helps Hoosiers better understand the history, cultures and emerging business opportunities relating to Asia.

And, at the heart of our mission, we strive to make Indiana a welcoming place for international newcomers – through education, understanding and open dialogue.

The International Center is Indiana’s window to the world – looking out and looking in. Visit for more.

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Tags:Public Diplomacy, Diplomacy, Citizen Diplomacy
Industry:Non-profit, Tourism
Location:Washington - District of Columbia - United States
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