News Release

Latter-day Saint Charities Provides Grants to US Refugee Agencies

Latter-day Saint Charities has provided substantial grants to nine resettlement agencies in the United States for the past several years. In 2020, grants were also provided to the same agencies to assist refugees who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


“Many refugee and asylum-seeking families, including those who have been in the U.S. for some time, work in industries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as hospitality and food service. Some were suddenly unable to work and struggled to put food on the table,” said Kelly Ricculli, deputy director of development for resettlement, asylum and integration at the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The financial support from the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has provided the refugees with money for rent, medical and other expenses, as well as greater access to household supplies, food and hygiene items. 

This year, the Latter-day Saint Charities grants have provided food and financial support to more than 10,600 refugees and immigrants through 142 offices nationwide. Nearly 2,000 beds have been distributed from the Church’s Deseret Manufacturing. 

The nine resettlement agencies include the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, International Rescue Committee, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Church World Service, HIAS, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) and World Relief. 

The IRC reports that grocery commodities were an important contribution for families, especially for those who suffered recent job loss but who had a difficult time getting reapproved for food stamps in cities such as Atlanta and Seattle. 

The Latter-day Saint Charities grants to the resettlement agencies also help support refugees with workforce training, digital literacy, community engagement and emergency funding. 

The financial assistance from a Latter-day Saint Charities grant allowed a Sudanese single mother in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to pay her rent and utilities while searching for employment. She was also able to address health issues within her family and receive training on digital literacy and U.S. culture. 

“Despite navigating through unprecedented times, the client has overcome these unique challenges and secured meaningful employment where she is paid a living wage so that she is able to financially support her family,” said Demetrio Alvero, director of operations for Episcopal Migration Ministries. 

In Arlington, Virginia, the Church’s Deseret Industries fund helped furnish homes for large families resettling in the area. 

“Saving families this money enables our affiliate to assist families longer, and it gives families more time to find employment and generally settle into their new home while still being financially supported,” said Carolyn Lamere, associate director of reception and placement at the ECDC.

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