STATEMENT — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service announces new fundraising campaign, #WelcomeOurNeighbors, to support the urgent needs of refugee families in U.S.

April 12, 2017

Press Contacts:

Miji Bell
mbell@lirs.org; 410-230-2841

Michelle Blundell
mblundell@mrss.com; 202-478-6176

BALTIMORE, MD – Today, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is announcing a new fundraising campaign, #WelcomeOurNeighbors, with the goal of raising $5 million to support the urgent needs of refugee families—mostly women and children—resettling in the United States.

With fear-mongering toward immigrants continuing unabated, LIRS is calling on individuals, foundations, corporations, and congregations to join forces to create welcoming communities that support war-weary refugee families as they stabilize their lives, achieve self-sufficiency, integrate into their new communities, and begin to realize their dreams.

“We all benefit from welcoming refugees into our lives, our communities and our nation. As the world faces a vast humanitarian crisis that has forced millions from their homes — like the Syrian families and children brutalized by their own government — we have the opportunity to invest in our new neighbors and transform the lives of refugees and their communities,” said Linda Hartke, president and CEO of LIRS.

Refugees are not just victims of violence who have been forced to flee. They are also professionals,
students, parents, and siblings. These newcomers—our new neighbors—are true assets to society, and that is why together we must also go well beyond basic resettlement efforts by investing in initiatives that empower them to successfully contribute to the rich fabric of America. By launching the #WelcomeOurNeighbors campaign, LIRS hopes to rally public support and critical funding for these efforts.

Showing compassion and warmly welcoming refugee families makes the United States stronger—and it reinforces the ideals and values of our nation’s founding.

Together, Americans must open their arms to our new neighbors and build stronger, more vibrant communities. To support the campaign, please visit www.lirs.org.

###

Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is the second largest refugee resettlement agency in the United States. It is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through more than 75 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.