I hope you and your loved ones are well.
I am writing to ask you to consider making a gift to Rian’s 2021 spring campaign in support of immigrant and refugee families at this critical time. Your help enables us to provide vital support to thousands of people seeking safety and a brighter future.
This year I celebrate my 10th anniversary at Rian, and I feel as honored and inspired to work at the Center as I did on my first day. I would like to share a few reflections on why.
Each day, I witness the perseverance of immigrant families and individuals who come to our Center for legal advice, for counseling to support them in hard times, and to learn English and skills that will advance their careers and community connections. One student from our beginner English class stands out:
Petch from Thailand has been learning English at Rian for two years. Last year, she was diagnosed with cancer and began the long process of chemotherapy. Her weekly treatment was scheduled for the same time as her Thursday morning English class. Recovery was her top priority, but Petch was eager to keep learning. Each week during fall 2020, she Zoomed into Rian’s virtual English classes from her hospital bed to participate with other students while receiving chemo. In spring 2021, her fellow students and instructor were thrilled to host a cancer-free party online for her after English class! Says Petch, “My inspiration is my teacher's intention. It makes me feel that class is very valuable to me, so I have to be able to join every class, even with chemo. …Everyone in the class, everything you do makes me so grateful."
Each week, I see the dedication of my colleagues and am inspired that, despite an increased volume of work, our staff are hopeful and energized for the year ahead. The pandemic made providing services to our immigrant families challenging, while simultaneously making our support all the more essential. Our team rose to the challenge. Our immigration attorneys have been experiencing a surge of calls for consultations since the new administration took office in January. This feels like an inflection point with the promise of new pathways to citizenship and stability. Our social workers are managing a full schedule of counseling appointments. Our education program is thriving; classes are full, and students are engaged. A full year after the pandemic caused us to shift to providing all our services virtually, Rian’s staff have been adaptable and resilient.
At the outset of the pandemic, Rian co-founded the Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative (MIC), and continues to support the 15 community partner organizations who came together to distribute more than $5 million in emergency funds and food assistance to more than 59,000 immigrant family members. Rian and the Collaborative are now working hard to address COVID vaccine equity and access, and is co-leading an outreach campaign to schedule vaccine appointments for the immigrant community. I am honored to work alongside such a dedicated group of individuals.
Every year, people like you make this work possible. Your support last year enabled us to serve more than 3,814 immigrant family members and I am extremely grateful. With new opportunities on the horizon for the immigrant community, our work is needed now as much as ever.
I am asking you to give a gift today and help Rian empower families from over 126 countries along the path to new beginnings.
On behalf of the Rian community, I thank you.
With sincere gratitude,