Feb. 5, 2013 NEWS RELEASE — LIRS Celebrates Tet in California and Washington State, Introduces Refugee Alumni Network

Press Contact: Jon Pattee
202-591-5778, jpattee@lirs.org

Washington, DC, Feb. 5, 2013 — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is excited to celebrate Tet with the Vietnamese-American communities in California and Washington State, to connect with the 80,000 Vietnamese that LIRS helped resettle in America, and to introduce the Refugee Alumni Network.

“This Tet, I’m visiting California and Washington State and reaffirming LIRS’s bond with our Vietnamese-American friends,” said James Corey, LIRS Assistant Director for Development. “We want to honor our shared memories and the achievements of our friendship.”

“LIRS is proud to have connected tens of thousands of Vietnamese with sponsors in the United States,” said Corey. “In that way, LIRS and the Vietnamese people share a bond in the California and Washington communities and their social, political, and economic successes.”

During his February 6-12 visit to California, Corey is scheduled to meet with a group of pastors in Long Beach, as well as Garden Grove City Councilman Chris Phan and Van Tran, former California State Assembly member, before taking part in the Garden Grove Tet Festival. He will also meet with the project director of the Vietnamese American Oral History Project, Thuy Vo Dang, and other community leaders.

While in Washington State from February 13 to 17, Corey will take part in the Seattle Tet Festival, meet with Lutheran Community Services of the Northwest, and connect with community leaders.

“We’re honored to take part in Tet festivals this February as part of reaching out for the LIRS Refugee Alumni Network,” said Corey. “We welcome our Vietnamese-American friends to reconnect with LIRS and other Vietnamese former refugees by joining the network.”

LIRS is building the Refugee Alumni Network as a way for former refugees to connect with one another, and to help new refugees who are facing hardships on their journey to the United States.

“You can learn about the network on our web page, www.lirs.org/alumni,” said Corey.

Network members are invited to help LIRS lobby for better opportunities for refugees, and may even visit members of Congress in Washington, D.C. on June 20, World Refugee Day.

LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. LIRS provides services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States.

Since it was founded 73 years ago, LIRS has helped nearly 380,000 refugees. It welcomes refugees and migrants on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. LIRS respects, values, and works alongside Vietnamese Lutherans, Catholics, Buddhists, and other faiths.