The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is pleased to announce the 2017 Immigrant Families Initiative grants totaling $186,920 to ten organizations serving South Carolina’s immigrant and refugee populations during National Immigrant Heritage Month. Immigrants represent nearly 5% of South Carolina’s total population and research shows these individuals make multiple contributions to the state’s economy sharing business, leadership, education, labor and other skills. However, a large number of immigrants and children of immigrants experience poverty across South Carolina.

The Foundation recognizes the value of welcoming and embracing newcomers who strengthen the communities across South Carolina. Rooted in the Foundation’s mission and core values of compassion and courage, the Immigrant Families Initiative was launched in 2014 dedicated to enhancing individual and family well-being through grant-making and the creation of strategic partnerships to support organizations that lift families out of poverty, and supporting efforts to build inclusive, welcoming environments for immigrants. The goal of the Immigrant Families Initiative is to improve the health, well-being and economic mobility of first and second generation immigrants, mixed status families and refugees working alongside our grantees, community stakeholders and philanthropic partners.

Funding in the Immigrant Families Initiative category is intended to assist these programs to 1) boost resources of families living below 200% of the poverty line to meet basic needs (e.g. a safe, stable place to live, access to enough food, affordable health coverage and quality child care); 2) build inclusive, welcoming communities increasing social capital of newcomers; 3) employ two generation strategies to strengthen and support families; 4) improve educational outcomes from early childhood to postsecondary educational pathways; 5) enhance workforce and career skills for family-sustaining employment or entrepreneurship; 6) support DREAMers positioning them for success and next generation leadership; 7) bolster efforts to obtain citizenship, naturalization or other legal statuses; and 8) increase civic engagement to strengthen communities and create social change.

The Foundation is pleased to partner with the below ten grantees serving immigrants and refugees across South Carolina.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Charleston – Office of Immigration Services

The mission of Catholic Charities Office of Immigration Services is to support just and fair treatment of immigrants through the provision of direct immigration legal services and community education. They provide the tools and capacity to apply for valid immigration status, positively impacting immigrants and their families by providing increased opportunities to create better outcomes for their lives. Funds will be utilized to support a staff attorney position, enabling them to serve more immigrants and increase their organizational legal immigration capacity. Located in Charleston; Serves Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown and Horry Counties.

Hispanic Alliance

Uniting the largest network of agencies and individuals working collaboratively to advance Hispanic communities in the Upstate region, Hispanic Alliance’s mission is to enrich the quality of life of in the Hispanic community by coordinating initiatives and building collaborations among service providers, Hispanic community members and the community at large. Envisioning the Hispanic community embraced as a thriving, productive and positive contributor to the community at large, funds will be used to support and replicate the Student DREAMers Alliance, an innovative youth leadership development model with the goal of helping cultivate emerging leaders and empowering them to open doors of opportunity while addressing education and tuition inequity. Located in Greenville; Serves Greenville County.

Lutheran Services Carolinas

Providing warmth and welcome to refugees seeking sanctuary, Lutheran Services Carolinas addresses employment barriers that refugees relocating face by helping to connect them with meaningful employment enabling them to move out of poverty, regain a sense of agency in their lives and integrate into their new communities. Funds will be used to support their pre and post-employment education and build an even larger pool of potential new employers to enable more refugees to find suitable jobs in a shorter time frame. Located in Columbia; Serves Charleston, Lexington and Richland Counties.   

Mi Amigos Bilingual Educational Center

With a mission to provide high quality dual-language, Christian immersion education to preschool children while serving immigrant and nonimmigrant families, Mi Amigos Bilingual Educational Center provides children with the tools that enable them to confidentially participate in a global community. Funds will be utilized to connect immigrant and nonimmigrant parents together in order to build community and collective community capital through their Padres Unidos/Parents United program. Located in West Columbia; Serves Lexington and Richland Counties.

Neighborhood Outreach Connection

Neighborhood Outreach Connection’s mission is to fight poverty by helping all individuals in the community achieve the “American Dream” building economic independence, progress and personal fulfillment while focusing on individual, family and community transformation and development. Promoting social change and community development in three low-income neighborhoods, funds will be utilized to sustain their outreach programs consisting of education, health care and civic engagement. Located in Hilton Head Island; Serves Beaufort County.

PASOs

Supporting South Carolina’s growing Latino population with culturally and linguistically appropriate resources, PASOs mission is to decrease health and early childhood disparities and improve the quality of life of participants, working with community service providers for strong, healthy Latino families. Funds will be utilized to build sustainability and organizational capacity training staff and community health workers statewide who will assist more than 1,450 participants with access to food security resources, medical care and empower families to overcome social barriers to services. Located in Columbia; Serves across the State of South Carolina.

Si Se Puede at Richland School District Two

Richland School District Two works to ensure Latino student success within the school environment and beyond to help bridge the gap between Latino communities, schools while supporting Latino students in schools. Funds will be used to support the Si Se Peude Student Interpreter Program which bolsters school success identifying Latino high school upperclassmen to work with the Hispanic Liaison and develop professional skills as a Spanish Language Interpreter while earning a district certificate. Located in Columbia; Serves Richland County.

South Carolina Legal Services

South Carolina Legal Services mission is to provide civil legal services to protect rights and represent the interests of low income South Carolinians. Funds will be utilized to distribute family preparedness plans in English and Spanish to educate families on their rights and steps they need to take and provide representation for children who need birth certificate amendments who are U.S. citizens. Located in Greenville; Serves across the State of South Carolina.

Student Action with Farmworkers

Student Action with Farmworkers brings students and farmworkers together to learn about each other’s lives, share resources and skills, improve conditions for farmworkers and build diverse coalitions working for change in the Carolinas. Funds will be used to support 7 bilingual and bicultural student interns to work across South Carolina during the summer agricultural season serving farmworkers and their families, linking them to critical resources and information, including working with migrant youth in education. Located in Durham; Serves across the State of South Carolina. 

YMCA of Beaufort County

The mission of the YMCA of Beaufort County is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Funds will be used to provide summer camp options to children of migrant workers who live seasonally on St. Helena Island, the geographic region of the state with the highest concentration of migrant students during the growing season. Located in Port Royal; Serves Beaufort County.