Supporting Prosperity with Skagit Newcomers
Immigrant Resources & Immediate Support
For many of us, our families have a story and a unique history of how they arrived in the United States: crossing oceans, one or more borders, by themselves, or alongside family. Some of these journeys were more harrowing than others.
Today, there is a very complex system to navigate for immigrants and refugees arriving in Skagit County who are establishing their new life and opportunities. In addition to language barriers, immigrant families can struggle with isolation in a new community and lack support. It can be very difficult to find help and resources when they need it.
Immigrant Resources & Immediate Support (IRIS) is a local grassroots nonprofit organization that was formed by Attorney Leta Sanchez of Chamberlain Sanchez Immigration Law. She saw that there was a need for emergency resources within the local immigrant community. IRIS’ mission is to support basic human needs for immigrant families and people in crisis.
“Many immigrants in our community, while incredibly resilient and hardworking, have had to overcome tremendous hardship just to survive. They continue to face a multitude of barriers as they struggle to recover and rebuild. IRIS is honored to provide temporary bridge assistance to our recipients, made possible by supporters like the Skagit Community Foundation, and to be a part of their journey to stability.” - Leta Sanchez, Attorney & IRIS Executive Director
IRIS is able to respond rapidly to urgent situations and also provides ongoing support to help families stabilize and connect to other community resources. The Board of IRIS has several bilingual Directors (Spanish, English) and one who is trilingual (Spanish, English, Mixtec).
Recently, IRIS has been working to provide basic needs to 17 newly-arrived Ukrainian families. Pictured below is a mother and daughter currently receiving assistance from IRIS - many families like theirs have been separated from their husbands and/or fathers due to the mandate that men must stay in Ukraine to fight the war.
The Skagit Community Foundation was one of IRIS’ founding donors. The needs of immigrants range widely from food, clothing, housing assistance, hygiene supplies, utility bills, basic household items, and more. Every family’s situation is unique.
SCF recognizes the importance of flexible funding to local nonprofit organizations. Donations that are unrestricted provide general operations support and help organizations efficiently accomplish their missions.
“Because we believe that teams with experience on the front lines of challenges will know best how to put the money to good use, we encourage them to spend it however they choose.”
- MacKenzie Scott, The Giving Pledge philanthropist
To learn more about IRIS and immigrants in our community, visit their website: https://irisnw.org/