Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Donates $15 Million to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service | LIRS
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Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Donates $15 Million to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Published On: Donate

November 14, 2022
Contact: Tim Young |

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the nation’s largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated exclusively to serving and advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable immigrants in the U.S., announced today it received a $15 million gift from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

The donation is the single largest contribution Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has received from an individual donor in its 83-year history of welcoming and empowering children and families from all around the world. It comes on the heels of the historic Afghan refugee resettlement mission, Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and record arrivals of asylum-seeking children and families at the U.S. southern border.

“This unprecedented and timely gift will make a monumental difference in the lives of the most vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers as they strive to achieve their own American Dream,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “We are extremely grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this recognition of our decades-long legacy of service. Her support represents a transformational opportunity to expand innovative programming and reimagine how the U.S. welcomes new Americans.”

The nonprofit organization will use the funds to accelerate groundbreaking projects intended to transform immigration services, including trauma-informed mental health care and the expansion of its holistic Welcome Centers for asylum-seeking families. The record-breaking gift will also support the group’s New American Cities workforce development program, and reinforce Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s unique capabilities to care for unaccompanied children through foster care programming and other community-based services.

The contribution comes amid a period of historic activity at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. In the past year alone, the refugee nonprofit resettled approximately 14,000 Afghans following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The organization is also assisting Ukrainians and Venezuelans displaced by ongoing crises in their homeland, as well as refugees from around the globe, including those from Syria, Burma, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“This is a win-win mission for cities like Baltimore,” concluded Vignarajah. “We can live up to our legacy as a city and country welcoming of immigrants, and we can position communities to benefit from the economic and cultural contributions our newest neighbors are poised to make. Ms. Scott’s contribution is game changing for our organization as our work recognizes that more than ever before, they need our help and we need theirs.”

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15 thoughts on “Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Donates $15 Million to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service”

  1. How absolutely wonderful to receive a gift of this magnitude…MacKenzie Scott’s gift of love will be transforming in the countless lives of refugees & immigrants.

  2. Thanks be to God for Ms Scott’s gift! May it be an encouragement to all of us to do what we can to bring life and hope to others.

  3. What a wonderful life-changing gift for so many of our new neighbors! May God continue to bless the wonderful work of “Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services”! Thanks so much for the generosity of MacKinze Scott!

  4. As a two-time refugee and immigrant myself, I am profoundly moved by this news. LIRS is deeply deserving of support and MacKenzie Scott is serving as a model of what can be done. What a blessed combination!

  5. Thank you, Ms.Scott! For those of us trying to make many small differences in our community, your vision & philanthropy encourages us to know that there s a larger legacy of support that will lift us all up. Thank you for the hope & encouragement this gives to all the people, volunteers & immigrants. You will never know how far the many ripples will reach , but your gift will affect generations of people. Bless you!

  6. This gift is little short of unbelievable! Ms. Scott’s generosity is not only a testament to the best in philanthropic giving, it is also an outstanding affirmation of the astonishing work LIRS has done for more than 80 years. It also assures us that this important work will continue to show the world that ‘the least of these’ are always our kith and kin. Thank you, Ms. Scott, and may God continue to bless the work LIRS does to make our world a more hospitable place for everyone.

  7. What an incredible gift! Thousands of people will benefit from the opportunities this money will make possible, and our country will be a better place as a result.

  8. What a fantastic acknowledgement of the important work done by LIRS to support people fleeing horrific circumstances in their determination to lead productive lives. Ms. Scott’s gift makes me even prouder of my Luthern heritage and provides hope that our country can continue to be a leader in this vital area of humanitarian work.

  9. Further empowering and expanding the already great efforts for refugees, from war, politics, climate, inequity, worldwide. What a marvelous example, to be emulated.

  10. Ms Scott has selected a terrific non-profit which has been welcoming and empowering children and families from all around the world for 83 years. She couldn’t have picked a better place to invest in good works.

  11. This is simply incredible. We pray for you always wishing for some great blessing and hope for those whom you serve and were simply astonished with this great news of this charitable gift. Now May it overflow in the comfort of Christ even through the very hands by which it is ministered.


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