The Neighbors in Need Fund
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:39
While LIRS works with our network of partners to provide a wide range of services to immigrants and refugees, the children and families we support often have needs that fall outside of our standard offerings.
That’s where our Neighbors in Need fund comes in. This special program offers emergency support for a variety of needs, from buying backpacks for refugee children enrolling in school for the first time to providing prosthetic limbs for immigrant children who were injured in their journey to the United States.
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas and Olivet Lutheran Church in Sylvania, Ohio have agreed to help our Neighbors in Need program through a Matching Gift Campaign. Together, their congregations provided $25,000 as a dollar-for-dollar match challenge to support this vital program.
Your compassion supports our mission to provide holistic support to those we serve. Help us welcome the stranger. Thank you in advance for your compassion, your generosity, and your solidarity with immigrants and refugees!
P.S. LIRS started Neighbors in Need in March 2020 to respond to the unprecedented needs of immigrant and refugee families during the pandemic. Learn more about that effort below!
Faith in Action: The Neighbors in Need COVID-19 Emergency Fund
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, LIRS knew we had to take action for the immigrant and refugee community. Our New American family was hit hard by COVID-19 and its effects; many lost their jobs in the service, hospitality, and production industries, while many more risked their lives on the front lines of healthcare and food production. Many of our immigrant brothers and sisters were excluded from government stimulus packages, while others were hesitant to get medical care for fear of retribution.
We established Neighbors in Need as an emergency fund to serve these critical needs. In just four months from March-July 2020, we were able to provide $342,000 in emergency financial assistance to 361 at-risk families who had suffered illness, job loss, or other hardship due to the crisis.
A Reason for Hope
This single mother of four lost her job as a dishwasher in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was extremely troubled about her unemployment status and feared they would have to leave their home. The children shared their mother’s anxiety, intensified by uncertainty surrounding their father’s detention in immigration custody. Fortunately, the family gained approval from Neighbors in Need and were allotted funds to ensure they could meet rent. The children also received electronic tablets to learn English and advance their other studies virtually. The mother has since been able to return to work and to achieve some financial stability.
Standing in for a Son
Ms. Nuong Thi My Kien and her three children arrived in the US in 2016 from Vietnam and registered as secondary migrants with The Center. Nuong’s eldest son went to visit Vietnam at the beginning of 2020 but could not return due to the pandemic. As a result, the family lost its entire income, for he was the sole financial provider for the family of four. They were unable to pay their rent and did not have money to buy groceries. Thanks to Neighbors in Need, LIRS was able to extend Ms. Nuong’s family a grant to cover these expenses. The family avoided late fees and possible eviction.