These volunteer-powered operations are found throughout North America
When Dan and Lorrie Curriden look at the faces of the immigrants they serve in Las Vegas, they see the courage of their own immigrant grandparents.
Whether one is a new immigrant or five generations removed from one, Dan said, “we all benefit from the fact that somebody in our ancestry had the guts to leave the place where they came from, into the unknown, and find a better life for their children in this great country.”
The Curridens volunteer at a Welcome Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in East Las Vegas. This is one of more than a dozen such centers throughout seven states and one Canadian province. All are part of the Church’s Immigrant Services Initiative, which since 2015 has helped immigrants and refugees integrate into their new communities.
Dan and Lorrie, along with many other volunteers, help immigrants find access to community legal services, improve their English, strengthen emotional resilience, progress on the path to citizenship and better understand American culture so that they can obtain better jobs and live better lives. The legal services are done in partnership with local university law schools.
And all these services are free for immigrants (read the entire article on the Church Newsroom site)
Latter-day Saint Charities: Immigrant Services
Legal clinics provide immigrants with trustworthy legal assistance. At the clinics, immigrants participate in brief, one-on-one consultations to receive free legal counsel on issues related to immigration and family law.
Welcome centers provide immigrants with personal help in a safe and comfortable environment. Volunteers answer questions, determine needs, and connect immigrants to other resources in the community.
Cultural Adaptation Classes
Cultural adaptation classes help immigrants adjust to life in the United States. As they attend class each week, immigrants learn information and life skills that help them overcome fears and integrate into society. The classes also provide opportunities for immigrants to develop friendships with other people in the community.
Local attorneys address general immigration issues, and community organizations discuss helpful immigration resources. If immigrants need individual assistance, they may attend a legal clinic or visit a welcome center.