Make #GivingTuesday a date to celebrate!

With Giving Tuesday (Dec. 3) fast approaching, the thought of being part of a community of people all over the world pulling together to make a difference makes us smile. At CLINIC, this occasion goes beyond just asking people to give money to a cause. We want to recognize the selfless contributions that so many people make every single day to improve — and sometimes save — the lives of immigrants.

Here are a few examples from our CLINIC colleagues that remind us about the true meaning of giving:

Father Jose Ruiz, known as Father Pepe, grew up in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He never really knew how complicated getting a visa could be because he always had one. His pull to the priesthood came in one of his many trips to the United States. In fact, Father Pepe’s language skills helped him relate to and serve a large community that might otherwise not have access to a religious ministry. With CLINIC’s help, he made the transition from an F-1 student visa to an R-1 religious worker visa. He applied for naturalization in 2018. This past June, his oath ceremony coincided with his fourth anniversary as a priest.

Yuley’s son was born with a serious heart condition. She tried desperately to get him the help he needed in their home country, Venezuela. But the growing lack of medical resources in the politically besieged South American country meant he faced certain death. Yuley refused to give up and, despite facing massive risks, managed to get her son to the United States, where he received the medical care he needed. Her son is now thriving and expected to grow into adulthood, as long as he can maintain access to the care he needs. Like thousands of Venezuelans, Yuley is hoping the United States designates Temporary Protected Status to Venezuela, so she and her son can stay.

Mariam, a mother of two children, was born and raised in the Middle East. All three are survivors of domestic violence. They left their home country out of safety concerns, as the government had no adequate system to provide protection. Mariam and her children were granted asylum several years ago and recently became lawful permanent residents. CLINIC featured her story on Mother’s Day 2019, as part of a celebration of mothers who stand by their families and seek a life free from discrimination and gender based violence.

Rev. Susan Brouillette, with the Lafayette Urban Ministry in Indiana, decided to start a legal services program to serve the community’s growing immigrant population in 2012 and sought the help of CLINIC Director of Capacity Building Jeff Chenoweth. Seven years later, the Lafayette Urban Ministry Immigration Clinic has become one of the few affiliates in CLINIC’s 380+ network to obtain partial accreditation for five or more volunteers at one time. The mighty five, a group of staff members at the program that includes Margaret Hass, Aparna Puri, Beata Ribeiro, Adelia Sorge and Mary Tilden, learned they had received accreditation last April. CLINIC staffer Nathaly Perez supported their trajectory to Department of Justice accreditation. “With Nathaly’s support, we have been able to focus on serving clients and know we will be taken care of in this difficult journey,” said Rev. Brouillette.

We know that even a small donation can have an incredible impact on the lives of those who need it most. We also understand that no individual can change the world alone. Creating real change is a universal effort. Join this global campaign by making your Giving Tuesday donation today. You can join this global crusade by creating a peer-to-peer campaign to support us on your social media, and by making your Giving Tuesday donation today.

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A girl standing in a crowd of people holding a sign that reads "SOS"