From Covered Wagons to the Internet
The primary function of a Welcome Service remains constant...welcoming
newcomers to an established community. How that function is performed
has evolved along with our demographics, technology and culture:
Initially, weary frontier travelers rolling West were often greeted by
settlers who likely had made a similar journey earlier. Established
settlements helped those going further west with baskets of food, while
also welcoming those who chose to stay in the area.
From this simple beginning, the practice of welcoming the new residents
evolved in the 1950's as service men and women returning from WWII,
entered schools with the help of the GI Bill and started families. The
housing market "went through the roof" as the WWII generation spawned
the boomer generation. During this time, it was not uncommon for
"welcome ladies" with their pillbox hats and white gloves to visit new
residents, share a cup of coffee or tea with the lady of the house
and familiarize the new family with their local surroundings. Local
businesses often added value to the visit by providing small gifts or
business cards to the welcome ladies for distribution to the newcomers.
newcomers still appreciate the role of a Welcome Service, but life in
the 21st century has changed how that role is perceived — especially in
Orange County. Dual income parents, children's school / social
schedules and commutes coupled with all that Orange County has to offer
leaves little time for mid-day coffee socials! In lieu of the “welcome
ladies,” Welcome Express caters to new residents in several ways:
1) By distributing civic information about their new community and
gifts from various sponsor businesses in their area via a mailed
welcome package. 2) Orange County has one of the highest per-capita
household computer ownership rates in the country. Welcome Express
takes advantage of this fact by providing a comprehensive Online
Resource Center offering newcomers additional information to facilitate
their immersion into the Orange County lifestyle.
Orange County has experienced many significant changes in the last 20
years, with many more to come. We have greatly enjoyed the opportunity
to welcome new Orange County residents on behalf of local business and
civic organizations these last 20 years and look forward to doing so
for another 20 years!
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