As the weather has turned chilly, many of you have thought of IRIS, buying clothes and sending funds to help keep our sponsored immigrant families warm.
This last week clearly showed how your efforts have made a real difference, and why we started IRIS.
Our board chair was contacted by a local school district employee about an asylum-seeking family who recently fled their home country in South America with nothing but the clothes on their back. They were sleeping in the streets until a local pastor found them and took them into his home. The family includes two children, one of whom is only five years old.
IRIS quickly approved emergency funding and provided immediate support in the days following this notification. IRIS volunteers delivered a mattress, food and clothing to the family and we committed to support them through this difficult time.
This is exactly what IRIS is designed to do- provide immediate support to immigrant families. We are thrilled to announce the addition of two extraordinary new board members, who enhance our ability to effectively accomplish our mission: Anne Schreivogl, a well-known local artist with a long-term commitment to immigrant issues, and Keeley Mathis, a case manager at Goodwill with a passion for serving Latino immigrants locally.
Update on Yolany and Jelsin
Since being reunited in July Yolany and Jelsin have continued to integrate into their community and find stability, thanks to the support of people like you.
IRIS has partnered with local community volunteers to ensure that their basic needs are met. IRIS has been paying rent, providing food and clothing and ensuring that their other needs are addressed. Yolany continues to study English and Jelsin is attending school. They have received medical and dental care and are deeply grateful to be back together. Their temporary housing is coming to an end. IRIS is seeking long-term housing for them and we need additional support to be able to continue paying their rent.
The roots of IRIS trace back to 2011 when a group of friends decided that instead of buying holiday presents for the adults in our families, we would pool our money to help someone in need. A holiday tradition emerged of helping one immigrant family at a time. Engaging in this tradition clarified a compelling need within immigrant families in our area. IRIS emerged with a vision to grow a support network to respond quickly to the basic unmet needs of immigrant families living in our communities.
Please consider making a donation to support our current IRIS recipient families. Both families in this newsletter need support to move into a stable housing situation.
Thanks again for supporting these resilient immigrant families!