In a year of unprecedented need, you stood by refugees. Because of your support, refugee families are safe and welcome in our community. Newcomers know you and the IRC are standing with them and working hard to make them feel at home in Washington.
In the face of many challenges, we’ve accomplished much together over the last year. Due to your advocacy, we safeguarded the US Refugee Admissions Program, which provides sanctuary and hope to people fleeing violent conflict and persecution. You helped welcome 215 newcomer families to our community from places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Ukraine, Iran, and Eritrea.
By donating time and resources, you helped 75 women and men find their first jobs in the U.S., and helped dozens more take steps toward re-entering professional careers they were forced to leave behind. You helped 170 newly-arrived refugee youth enroll in school and provided additional support to 250 young people through academic tutoring, career readiness, and community exploration activities.
You helped 150 refugee families grow organic produce at New Roots gardens, including a new garden site in Kent. You helped nourish a whole community with the opening of the first-ever farm stand in SeaTac, providing hundreds of families access to low-cost healthy foods. And for 100 newcomer refugees with special health concerns, you helped them access intensive case management and specialized medical care.
Your support also helped start new initiatives, such as the Senior Outreach Program providing 100 elder refugees with opportunities to make friends, share resources with one another, and explore the Seattle community together. Your support also brought new activities like yoga and ESL-in-the-garden to vulnerable refugee populations.
In addition to supporting refugee and immigrant communities, you helped grow the IRC’s anti-trafficking program, which helped 70 survivors find safety and access critical services in the past year.
And finally, you helped 300 refugee and immigrant community members become naturalized U.S. citizens – a remarkable milestone for former refugees once denied citizenship and human rights in their home countries.
In the coming year, your partnership will be more vital than ever. Together, we have the power to ensure the U.S. remains a welcoming place for those fleeing conflict and persecution, and that all families – no matter their country of origin or religious beliefs – have the opportunity to thrive here in Washington.
We thank you all for standing with us and for your continued support in 2018!