Oct. 16, 2013 NEWS RELEASE — Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Grant Boosts Partnership with LIRS

For Immediate Release

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 16, 2013 — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)  today announces receipt of the first quarterly payment of a $140,000 grant from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) that will boost the two organizations’ partnership around showing welcome and mercy to immigrants and refugees.

“We’re very grateful to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for their commitment to our shared mission of welcome and mercy. With $140,000 to support our greatest needs, I eagerly anticipate the lives changed through our partnership in the coming year,” said LIRS President and CEO Linda Hartke. “As we approach LIRS’s 75th anniversary next year, we’re looking back on over seven decades of human care for immigrants and refugees, and forward to continuing that mission with this generous LCMS support.”

“LCMS’s consistent support over our decades of work has been invaluable in advancing our mission, including our provision of human care for the most vulnerable migrants,” said Hartke.

In a sign of the LCMS commitment to LIRS and to bolster the two organizations’ shared mission of service and mercy, from 2010-2012, the LCMS supported LIRS’s work with $612,136.

“LIRS is a real extension of the LCMS’s ministry as a partner in a shared vision of welcome and human care,” said Rev. Bart Day, Executive Director, LCMS Office of National Mission. “I’m proud that this partnership has resulted in everything from a national campaign to end human trafficking to a disaster preparedness manual that helps communities prepare all of their members for catastrophes.”

“We’re extremely thankful to have received the first payment of $35,000 from the LCMS,” said Hartke. “This support will allow us to make an enormous difference in the lives of tens of thousands of men, women, and children in 2014—especially for those who are most vulnerable.”

LIRS welcomes refugees and migrants on behalf of the LCMS, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Through these Lutheran partnership and funding commitments, LIRS gains the financial flexibility to creatively respond to the changing needs of the families and children it welcomes. With this support, since it was founded 74 years ago, LIRS has helped nearly 400,000 refugees rebuild their lives.

LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership for and with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration, and other vulnerable populations. LIRS serves migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners nationwide.

LIRS has received a number of awards, including the National Leadership Award of the Vietnamese American National Gala and the Chicago Bright Foundation, Inc. Outstanding Achievement Award in Community Service. LIRS’ 2012 accomplishments included welcoming 9,933 refugees, providing foster homes for 277 refugee and immigrant children, working towards the release and legal protection of 318 survivors of torture in immigration detention, and reuniting 324 migrant children with family members in the United States.