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Florida communities rally behind refugees and survivors

Since launching our COVID-19 Crisis Prevention Fund last month, community members from all over the state have donated to help the IRC extend a safety net to our newest neighbors.

Thank you all so much for your generous response to our Crisis Prevention Fund. In just six weeks, more than 40 individuals and organizations have donated $5,934 to support refugee families, survivors of human trafficking and other vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida.

DONATE: IRC’s COVID-19 Crisis Prevention Fund

Many of the people we serve are not eligible for government stimulus relief and are just beginning to rebuild their lives in their new homes. Our clients have already reported layoffs and reduced hours, and while our staff is working diligently to help people regain employment, the long-term implications are becoming clear as this pandemic rapidly develops. Thanks to your generous support, 16 families have received assistance to maintain housing stability through our Crisis Prevention Fund so far.

In case you missed it, IRC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was featured on the front page of The Tallahassee Democrat this month, along with the stories of two of our hard-working refugee clients whose families have been impacted by layoffs and reduced hours. IRC client Rachel Uwamahoro spoke with The Democrat about her experience: “I was happy and excited to work in the U.S. It was my first work here. I feel bad because I’m sitting and the bills can’t stop — they’re still coming." The article also features IRC client Freddy Ntambwe, who at 19-years-old is now supporting his family—and serving the Tallahassee community—through his job at Publix. A must read!

READ: IRC clients highlighted in The Tallahassee Democrat

A newspaper with a picture of a young man on the front page, a framed copy of that photo and a sign that says "Thank You Freddy" are left on a doormat outside Freddys home.

The IRC in Tallahassee team left a socially distanced surprise gift to thank Freddy for sharing his story—featured on the front page of The Tallahassee Democrat!

Photo: IRC

Earlier this month, our Development Director, Marian Dickson, interviewed Una Bilic, Site Manager for the IRC in Tallahassee and Caridad Mas-Batchelor, Interim Deputy Director of the IRC in Miami on how we are adapting our programming to serve refugee families, survivors of human trafficking and other vulnerable populations remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and about the amazing response we’ve seen from our community supporters! The interview is available to watch on our YouTube channel here (don’t forget to subscribe!)

WATCH: The IRC in Florida – COVID-19 Response Update

Please save the date for #GivingTuesdayNow—May 5, 2020—and if you’re able pledge a portion of your stimulus check to the IRC in Florida’s COVID-19 Crisis Prevention Fund! #GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. Help us reach our goal of raising $10,000, so that we can extend a safety net for our newest neighbors as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our communities. No donation amount is too small! DONATE HERE.

To learn more about the work of the IRC in Florida and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, JC Torres, at Juan.Torres [at] Rescue.org or 786-325-6257.

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