Loretto Supports Immigrants, Refugees Through Special Needs Grant Fund
The needs of immigrants and refugees are dire, especially in this political and social atmosphere. The Loretto Community generously set aside a grant fund of $75,000 to use this year expressly for immigrant and refugee services. The maximum given to each applicant was $5,000. Fifteen groups received money. As of July 22, all of the funds were granted. The express purpose was to aid immigrants and refugees, usually through established organizations.
The Special Needs Committee, composed of Angela Bianco, Ruth Routten, Janet Rabideau, Barbara Schulte and I with Sue Rogers as staff liaison, conferred by email to decide on the amounts given. Although it was a pleasure to be able to help, we were well aware that our help wouldn’t go far enough.
Barbara referred the committee’s approvals to Shannon Drury in the Finance Office and Shannon wrote the checks. All applicants were worthy, and as usual we wished we had a great deal more money to send. We hope the funds have made something of a difference for these groups and persons.
Most of the grants were to U.S. groups, but one was for working with Syrian refugees in a camp on the island of Leros in Greece. Another was in Lahore, Pakistan, where the Loretto sisters there will buy needed clothing and food to help immigrants and refugees in Lahore find safety and help to provide for their families. Requests came from seven states where Loretto members have special connections. Funds were given to the following U.S. groups:
- Arizona: Southside Worker Center, a ministry of Tucson’s Southside Presbyterian Church, sending volunteers daily into the Sonoran Desert with basic supplies and humanitarian aid for migrants attempting to enter the United States safely.
- Colorado: Casa de Paz to keep open a home where recently released immigrants stay as they make plans to reunite with families and friends; Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network serving low-income adults and children in immigration proceedings, including hiring needed lawyers.
- Georgia: El Refugio Ministry Inc. that assists families visiting immigrants in detention waiting for court dates.
- Kentucky: La Casita Center of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Justice in Louisville that accompanies families to provide a foundation for systemic change through promotion of health and healing; Casa Latina Catholic Worker House of Hospitality in Louisville where immigrants are recovering from the trauma of their immigration experiences.
- Missouri: Casa De Salud in St. Louis for services to uninsured persons with clinical and mental healthcare needs; the Torture Survivals Program of Bilingual International Assistant Services in St. Louis; Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project that uses legal services, organization, advocacy and education especially for this grant to support the project’s Children’s Immigration Advocacy Project; St. Francis Community Services in St. Louis supporting immigrants and refugees through a range of bilingual services, including legal, health and advocacy.
- New Mexico: Casa de las Comunidades Catholic Worker in Albuquerque that will offer hospitality and accompaniment especially among the poor in a residential complex.
- Texas: Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso for low-income immigrants facing deportation and especially focusing on displaced children; Annunciation House in El Paso where hospitality, advocacy and education are offered to migrant, homeless and economically vulnerable peoples on the border.
All requests came from or were referred by Loretto members, namely Buffy Boesen, Claudia Calzetta, Eleanor Craig, Concha De La Cruz, Maureen Flanigan, Pat Geier, Eileen Harrington, Samina Iqbal, Karen Knoll, Cathy Mueller, Barb Roche, Mary Helen Sandoval and Sue Rogers, Kathy Sullivan and Mary Swain.