Starting Jan. 15, an application packet will be available for seed grants to help congregations develop support services for immigrants and refugees in their communities.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), Baltimore, and Wheat Ridge Ministries, Itasca, Ill., are offering the competitive grants through the Good Samaritan Fund, which they jointly established in 1998. The fund is supported by donations from congregations and individuals.
Congregations in the Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are eligible to apply.
To download the application packet, starting Jan. 15, go to www.lirs.org. Or, contact Pam Bloom, LIRS senior consultant for Organizational Capacity Building, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, 700 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230-3850.
March 1 is the deadline for applications to be received. Grants usually are announced in May.
Congregations whose applications are accepted must contribute at least 25 percent of the support for their proposed projects, either through cash or in-kind support.
A joint news release from LIRS and Wheat Ridge notes that priority for funding will be given to “projects that demonstrate at least one of the following services to immigrant communities: social ministry projects, joint projects between community members and new residents, public education or advocacy, and leadership development within the ethnic groups served.”
In 2004, the Good Samaritan Fund awarded $100,000 in grants to 31 Lutheran congregations to help them start a variety of projects including computer job training, childcare for parents enrolled in English-language classes, immigration assistance, and citizen classes.
Gifts to the Good Samaritan Fund may be directed to LIRS through the street or Web address given above, or by calling (410) 230-2786. Or, contact Wheat Ridge Ministries at One Pierce Place, Suite 250E, Itasca, IL 60143-2634; (800) 762-6748; www.wheatridge.org.
For more information about the Good Samaritan Fund prior to Jan. 15, see the guidelines for 2004 at www.lirs.org (click on “Good Samaritan Grant Fund” at the left side of the page).
Posted Dec. 30, 2004