Host Family of the Year 2024 – Second Place

Second Place of the 2024 Apex Host Family of the Year Award - Phillips Family

Erfahre im Brief von Ergotherapeutin Alina von den Döpfer Schulen in Regensburg, weshalb sie ihre Gastfamilie zur „Host Family of the Year 2024“ nominiert hat.

As I, Alina, an occupational therapist from Germany, embarked on a journey to the United States, I had the fortune of being matched with the Phillips family, an experience that has truly enriched my life in countless ways. It is with great pleasure and admiration that I nominate them for the Host Family of the Year Award at our agency.

My journey with the Phillips family began in May, following a challenging rematch period. From the very first interaction with Audrey, my host mom, I was struck by her warmth and genuine concern. During our initial conversation, Audrey candidly discussed potential challenges, highlighting worst-case scenarios alongside the endearing qualities of her children. This honest approach, coupled with her reassuring demeanor, immediately instilled a sense of trust and belonging within me.

Upon meeting Mitch, the host dad, and their three wonderful boys, Jacob, Max, and Aaron, it became evident that I had found myself amidst an exceptionally welcoming and inclusive family. From the beginning on, they embraced me wholeheartedly, making me feel like a cherished member of their household from the onset.

One of the most remarkable aspects of my experience with the Phillips family is their unwavering commitment to fostering cultural understanding and integration. As they graciously shared their traditions and beliefs, particularly pertaining to the Jewish faith, I felt honored to partake in their celebrations and rituals. Their openness and willingness to educate me about their heritage have deepened my appreciation for diversity and enriched my cultural competence as a healthcare professional.

Audrey and Mitch’s exemplary leadership as entrepreneurs and parents is truly commendable. Despite the demands of managing family businesses and raising three vibrant boys, they prioritize creating a nurturing environment where every individual is valued and supported. Their resilience and dedication serve as an inspiration to me, both personally and professionally.

What truly sets the Phillips family apart is their remarkable generosity and compassion towards others. On numerous occasions, they have extended their hospitality beyond expectations, opening their home to fellow care professionals and accommodating unexpected guests with unparalleled kindness and grace. Their selfless acts of kindness, such as hosting a Christmas dinner for my friend who lives here alone due to work commitments and had never met my host parents before, as well as for another friend whose host family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, showcase their exceptional generosity and thoughtfulness, creating a sense of belonging for all.

The bond I share with Jacob, Max, and Aaron is one that fills my heart with joy and gratitude each day. Jacob’s humor and intellect, Max’s kindness and insightful conversations, and Aaron’s infectious laughter and affectionate hugs have enriched my life in ways I never imagined possible. Their genuine enthusiasm for life and unwavering resilience in the face of challenges serve as a constant reminder of the power of love and positivity.

And let’s not forget the two little mischief-makers, Gracie and Charlie, whose playful antics add an extra layer of joy and warmth to our home.

In conclusion, the Phillips family embodies the true essence of hospitality, compassion, and inclusivity. Their unwavering support, genuine kindness, and commitment to fostering cultural exchange have not only made my transition to life in America seamless but have also left an indelible mark on my heart. It is with the utmost sincerity and admiration that I nominate them for the Host Family of the Year Award, as they truly deserve to be celebrated for their exceptional contributions to fostering intercultural understanding and creating a home filled with love and warmth.

Host Family of the Year 2024 – Second Place