On May 1st, the William Penn Association took part in the annual Join Hands Day. First established in 2000, on this day, fraternal organizations across the country encourage participation in volunteering projects to help adults and young people forge new and lasting relationships in the community. Join Hands Day is a celebration of both old and new generations and a celebration of human unity. Communities across the world are encouraged to participate. If you missed it this year, there are plenty of articles online to help anyone interested in taking part next year.
The William Penn Association was founded by 13 Hungarian coal miners on February 21st, 1886. In December of the same year, it was chartered by the State of Pennsylvania under the name of “Verhovay Aid Association”. The aim of the association was to lend a helping hand to the many Hungarian immigrants in America who worked in the mines and industrial centers. It was the first fraternal organization in the country, providing support and recourse to Hungarian workers. Today it is the most renowned Hungarian fraternal society in America. It provides benefits and fraternal services to its members, unites Hungarian Americans, and promotes the study of Hungarian culture and language. You can find out more about services offered by The William Penn association on the pages on their website.
The first wave of group immigration to America began happened between 1849 – 1850 when several thousand Hungarian men traveled to after the attempted Hungarian Revolution in 1848. The next wave of immigration happened in the 1900s when Hungarian’s traveled to America for economic reasons. The majority of these Hungarian’s settled in industrial cities such as Pennsylvania to work in the coal mines.
Life in Pennsylvania is much better today than it was for the Hungarian’s that moved to the State back in the early 1900s. According to the U.S Census Bureau, Pennsylvania is the state with the fourth-largest Hungarian American population in the country. Today, this community is supported and promoted by organizations such as The William Penn Association and thanks to the internet there are plenty of social networks connecting Hungarians in America.
Job prospects are also much better for Hungarian’s thinking about moving to Pennsylvania. The State is still a major manufacturing hub but in the past few years its tech scene is expanding and Pennsylvania also became the fourth state to legalize all forms of online gambling. And looking online at a few of their recent reports, we can see that there is a vast number of different online betting options in the state. This suggests that industry is part of the boom in the market and could be attracting more mobile and web developers into the state creating interesting job opportunities.
The William Tell Association transformed the standard of living for Hungarian’s in America and continues to have a positive effect in Pennsylvania where it was founded and in the country as a whole. Wherever you are, be it Hungary or America, let’s all Join Hands and celebrate.