Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get a sign?

You can order signs from our online store with free shipping in the USA (Sorry, we are unable to ship to Canada at this time). Ordering from www.welcomeyourneighbors.org supports us in continuing to spread the word and reach more communities with the message. At this time, we offer the classic yard sign with stake in Spanish, English and Arabic, and we are working to make other language options available for purchase.

We also have a Zazzle and Red Bubble page where you can order signs in the different language variations on an individual basis and have them shipped to you. Other products are also being made available such as bumper stickers, window clings, t-shirts, keychains, etc.

Many folks have had signs printed in bulk and are selling them locally; see our list of Community Pickup Centers to get one and have your money go toward the local charities that they are supporting with the proceeds. To be listed as a pickup center on our website, please fill out this form.

PDFs of the sign (in a variety of languages) are available for free, so you can download and have signs printed locally. If you want to be a local distributor, take the PDF to your local printer and check out their bulk prices.

How can we help spread the message?

  • Get a sign! When you purchase directly from this website, your purchase supports our efforts to spread the message to more communities. Signs also make a great gift!
  • Print signs locally and become a  Community Pickup Center
  • Spread the word on social media. Post a photo of your sign. Use the hashtag #WelcomeYourNeighbors. Invite friends to follow the movement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Share any stories that the sign inspires via social media.
  • Do a write-up about the signs in a newsletter or periodical for your place of worship, civic organization, etc.
  • Don’t just post a sign, but also reach out in your local community by volunteering, getting to know your neighbors, practicing hospitality, acting with kindness, being open to dialogue, loving your neighbor.

How do register as a Community Pickup Center?

Fill out the form here.  In order to be listed on this site, we ask that you:

  • Have printed signs available for local pickup.
  • Donate proceeds from sign sales to a local non-profit in your area as another step in building a welcoming community.
  • Utilize the same text and colors as the PDFs on this website.
  • If you’d like to see a new translation combination, contact us for details and be willing to submit the new PDF on this site for others to benefit.
  • Help us keep records of how many signs you have printed.
  • Let us know when you are out of signs and wish to be removed from the list.

Where do the proceeds of signs ordered from this website go?

The majority of proceeds go to furthering the message of the sign. We are working hard to make signs available in more and more communities, to spread the message via social media, to organize and support local pickup centers, and to provide a centralized platform to share encouraging stories catalyzed by the sign. A portion of proceeds also supports local non-profits in Harrisonburg, VA who work with diverse populations in the Harrisonburg community.

What’s this movement all about? Is there a political or religious agenda?

The message of the sign speaks for itself and is not associated with any one political, religious or civic group or ideology. The idea is to express welcome and appreciation to all the members of our local communities regardless of their ethnicity, language, or country of origin. The sign originated at a small church in a diverse community in Harrisonburg, VA, read the story of the sign here.

What do the colors mean?

The colors were chosen to be bold and visible. They are not intended to correspond to any one nation’s flag or any political or religious organization or association, and have no meaning other than being attractive and bold.

Can I get the sign printed with a different language or languages?

Our original sign was designed for our neighborhood in Harrisonburg, VA, and reflects the main languages spoken here – Spanish, English, and Arabic. As others have requested languages appropriate for their neighborhoods, we have been willing to accommodate those requests when they provide an accurate translation (which should be checked by a native speaker or academic) and fall within our design templates. See our list of available alternatives here.

If you’d like to submit an additional translation, please send an email to info@welcomeyourneighbors.org

Can we adapt the colors, message, style?

We prefer a unified message and style to have consistency across the movement. Other than swapping out languages to reflect the language makeup of different communities, we prefer for the message and appearance to remain consistent.

Can you sub in the word “I” for “We,” the word “student” for “neighbor,” or make other language changes?

We chose the pronoun “We” because this was intended as a collective statement from our organization, a church, and we believe that this statement is strongest when it is made by many people together. The “We” in the sign is reflective of all people who are willing to make this statement, rather than a reflection on how many people are holding the sign or live at the place where it is posted.

Since it is meant to be a broad statement, we are not planning to substitute the word “neighbor” for other words more applicable to a specific community. We are planning to leave the language as-is, except for additional translation possibilities.

You’re welcome to send us ideas for adaptation, but we will likely not make changes to the message or appearance.

I’m a journalist, how can I get in touch?

Send us an email at info@welcomeyourneighbors.org.

Spanish Translation?

We’ve been getting some questions about the use of dónde vs. donde. This is our rationale for why we’ve used “dónde.”

The accent mark is used to denote when the word is being used as an interrogative pronoun. The accent mark is included when dónde is used as an indirect question, as well. By putting the accent mark on the sign, we are stating that the person’s country of origin is unknown to us, as that is also what we are saying is unimportant to us. If we said “I don’t know where she bought those shoes” there would need to be an accent mark on the donde in that translation because the “where” is unknown, or in question. Of course, in a written dialogue, if the speaker has expressed their home country, the accent mark would go away in the subsequent references, because there is no longer a question to what it means.

Arabic Translation?

An Arabic proverb indicates why we used (ولدتم) which literally translates as “where you were born” in the first phrase. The proverb is (مسقط راسك) and translates as “your head comes first.” This means that where your head hits when you were born, that is your home. We are seeking to convey that we hope everyone in our community feels like this community is their home, no matter how long they have lived here. Connecting to this proverb carries a very strong message.

The word for neighbor (جار) is used for an Arabic proverb that says (اختار الجار قبل الدار), “choose your neighbor before your house.” All neighbors are welcome. The last word of the phrase (neighbor) is singular in English, but plural in Arabic because it flows better.

The Arabic translation was provided by Egyptian friends.