The DC-Baltimore Lithuanian Youth Association (a chapter of the Lithuanian American Youth Association), after a long sleep, awakened in March of 2000. The purpose of the organization is to: unify all Lithuanian youth; to work for the good of Lithuania and that of Lithuanians, living in the US; and to publicize Lithuania, in the US, especially in Washington and Baltimore.
We believe that the Lithuanian Youth, living in the United States, can be split into three groups: 1) Those, whose families have been here, since the first immigrants from Lithuania started coming to the US in the late 1800s and early 1900s. (these are usually 3rd-5th generation Americans) 2) Those, whose families came to the US, during the Soviet occupation of Lithuania. (These are usually 1st and 2nd generation Americans) 3) Immigrants, students and people who live and work in the US, from Lithuania, who came here after Lithuania regained independence, in 1990. The first two groups don’t always speak Lithuanian, but believe themselves to be Lithuanian. We believe that these groups can learn from each other. Those, who were born in and lived in the U.S. feel at home in this big country, but they still want to spend time with other Lithuanians and maintain ties with Lithuania. If they have a hard time speaking Lithuanian, they get to practice. Those, who have come to the US to work and study, find it very hard to survive in this new country alone, therefore, they are very happy to spend time with other Lithuanians. Those, who have a hard time speaking english get to practice their English with other Lithuanians.
We try to achieve these goals by organizing all kinds of meetings and charitable events. We organize a yearly celebration of the Jonines (St. John’s Day) traditional Lithuanian midsummer’s festival, regular Lithuanian Happy Hours and other meetings. We also sent three representatives to the X World Lithuanian Youth Congress, in Australia, Dec. 2000-Jan. 2001.
In 2000, we sent the library of Joseph Simanis, a local Lithuanian activist, to the Jesuit High Schools in Lithuania, where students use them. We also helped BALF’as to carry boxes for delivery to Lithuanian children’s charities. We always want to help Lithuania and Lithuanians living overseas through charitable work.