The Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA) team is excited to announce that RILA has received a $25,000 matching grant from the Matthew 25 Initiative. This initiative started with a vision from Archbishop Foley Beach and his desire to use a generous grant from an anonymous donor to help churches reach the poor and needy in their communities.
These granted funds will enable RILA to hire a part-time Program Manager to expand and solidify the work already being done. It will also provide a small stipend to RILA’s Intake Coordinator.
Currently, RILA is serving over 50 immigrant families, most of whom are seeking asylum. This is hard work, requiring patience, perseverance, and dedication. In each case, the RILA team invests time to build relationships with our clients and their families, many of whom have stories of trauma that led to their being here in the United States. In fact, many immigrant families that RILA represents fled their home countries within days or weeks of having their lives – or their children’s lives – threatened. In some cases, they had already been harmed and were forced to leave to avoid being harmed further.
A handful of RILA clients are children who journeyed to the United States alone, fleeing imminent violence in their neighborhoods. The RILA team is committed to walking alongside immigrant families and advocating on their behalf. Though the stories we hear are heartbreaking, RILA has begun to see some successes. However, we also believe we are successful as we listen well to our client’s stories and show compassion, in the name and way of Jesus.
We are SO thankful for the large and diverse group of volunteers at Restoration that enable this work to be done. We are continually humbled and inspired by our volunteers’ hard work and willing hearts. Working together as the church to accomplish the enormous task of running a neighborhood immigration legal aid clinic is such a joy for all of us. From praying to note taking to providing hospitality and translation, each RILA case is surely a team effort, demonstrating the body of Christ serving Restoration’s neighbors in need.
Support RILA here to help us meet our match!
If you are interested in learning more about RILA or getting involved, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are specifically looking for volunteers with fundraising experience, as the Matthew 25 initiative grant is a matching one. But translators, attorneys, researchers and general clinic volunteers are always welcome! Our holistic vision is to join God in the renewal of all things and to witness the transformative power of loving and serving our neighbors through giving immigration legal aid to the immigrant families in our neighborhoods. We’d love to have you join us on this journey!
You can learn more about the clinic here.
With thanks from the RILA team.