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Letter from the Director

Updated: May 10

Dear Friends and Supporters of the Refugee Center,


Many of you have generously supported the Refugee Center by attending our Annual Fundraiser Banquet. We appreciate you and will miss seeing you this year, as due to COVID 19, we will not hold a banquet this spring.


Our last banquet, in March of 2020, was held before the realities of COVID 19 were known. At that banquet, all of you contributed a total of $40,000. That, associated with other giving, kept our Refugee Center open to become a major source of assistance to refugees and immigrants as families faced the economic and social challenges created by the pandemic. Our goal is to meet or exceed this amount by the end of our fiscal year, June 30, 2021.


As a known and respected service provider in our area, we have received grants from local and state sources, as well as religious and secular organizations. The Refugee Center was entrusted with, and distributed in excess of $800,000 of pass-through funds for rent, utility, and food assistance for our clients, both locally and in surrounding counties. We provided assistance to over 2,200 clients in the past year. Our staff accomplished this while working in the unusual conditions of the Pandemic: working from home; cell phone interviews; meeting clients at a picnic table outside of our offices, and using a drop box for necessary paperwork. As an example of our service, we helped settle and support a refugee family of seven from Afghanistan. Staff provided the family with masks, set up online schooling, and facilitated communication with social service agencies that were closed to in-person aid.


The Refugee Center is now asking you to consider making a donation to support our wide scope of services. Without the unrestricted money that we receive from you and others, we will be less able to deliver the vital services needed by our immigrant and refugee neighbors.


Any amount that you are able to give will be greatly appreciated. At our last banquet, tables of eight were priced at $600 and individual tickets were $80.


You can make your donation through the PayPal option on our website: www.therefugeecenter-cu.org, or by mailing a check to The Refugee Center, 201 West Kenyon Road Suite 4D, Champaign, Illinois 61820.


We thank you for your support! You make a difference in the lives of refugees and immigrants in our community.


Lisa C. Wilson, Executive Director Anh Ha Ho, Director of Client Services

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