All posts by Kim Cizek Allen

KIAC WELCOMES A NEW ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVE

KIAC’s volunteer Accredited Representatives are with our immigration legal clients every step of the process. And earlier this month, we welcomed Doug H to the Accredited Representative (AR) team! Becoming a DOJ Accredited Representative is not an easy task and requires a lengthy process of both study and shadowing. We could not be more proud to have Doug join our team of ARs.

We asked Doug to share a bit about his process of becoming an AR, and he had this to say:

In 2019, I became concerned with news of Trumps separation of immigrant families at the US-Mexican border.  Meanwhile, a friend of mine (Libby Palmer, former KIAC Board Member) was active with the Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Activists (JCIRA). We discussed ways to help, and I decided the Accredited Representative (AR) Program sounded like the best way for me to get involved.  After a trip to the KIAC office to meet (Board members & volunteers) Ray and Althea, I signed up for the first of many trainings in immigration law, and began observing and assisting some of our ARs.  After a little over a year of training (averaging about 10 hrs/wk), I decided in January 2021 to start assembling my AR application, and a year later it was approved! I hope to focus on clients who want to became citizens.  My hope is that the more immigrant-citizens we have in the U.S. — bringing new energy, diverse talents and perspectives — the better chance we have of solving our national problems. Immigration law is very complicated, and the application process for immigrants seeking visas, green cards, or citizenship is arduous, but there is a nationwide support-system of immigrant-advocates who can help ARs with legal questions. Best of all, it is a pleasure to work with the dedicated KIAC legal team.

-Doug H

We are so excited to welcome Doug to our team of ARs! Thank you for your dedication to our mission, and we look forward to working with you, too!

Feeling inspired and want to become an AR yourself? Check out: https://kitsapiac.org/volunteer/

Sheila K and Doug H working out of the Port Townsend office

From the Desk of KIAC’s Executive Director

Dear Friends,

What a month January 2022 has been! I started in my new role as Interim ED at KIAC, and we added 3 more staff members while keeping our offices closed for 2 weeks due to Covid. It really speaks to the extraordinary team here at KIAC, that in spite of all the challenges and new faces, we were able to accomplish so much. Here are a few of the highlights. 

  • KIAC assisted our partner Peninsula Community Health Services in the vaccination of 134 community members.
  • KIAC conducted our regular health and dental clinics during the month – helping dozens of immigrants access care.
  • One of our legal volunteers became an Accredited Representative (AR) after going through a rigorous process of study and working with our certified ARs on multiple cases.
  • From an operational perspective January included
    • Consolidating our payroll and accounting services with one provider, resulting in paychecks twice a month.
    • Working toward migrating to a new donor database system (Bloomerang).

In the current month we are looking forward to

  • Piloting a Saturday health clinic on a test basis to accommodate those who are unable to come to clinics on a weekday. This will be in addition to our regular health clinics.
  • A second Covid vaccine clinic in late February at the Gateway Center in Bremerton for anyone over age 5.
  • Sending out a call inviting volunteers to assist KIAC clients in tax preparation service.
  • Going live with our new donor database system (Bloomerang).

Although I am not new to KIAC or the work we do for immigrants in our community, completing my first month as Executive Director has solidified my understanding of the ever-growing need for KIAC within our community and the importance of KIAC’s partnerships – with our volunteers, partner organizations, clients and all of you. Thank you for your support of the work KIAC does for our immigrant neighbors. 

In Partnership,

Thangam Chandrasekaran, Executive Director

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU for making KIAC’s Holiday Bundles such a HUGE success!
 

Because of you, KIAC delivered holiday bundles filled with fun and functional items to 268 immigrant families in Kitsap and Mason Counties. We couldn’t have done it without you!

YOU made this happen! From donating items, packaging and delivering bundles, to all the tasks and activities in between, your support of KIAC and this endeavor brought it to life. Every family received a warm blanket, a $50 Winco gift card, food staples, masks, a new toy, a book in Spanish (for each of the 598 children in these households) and more!

We heard countless messages of thanks and gratitude for how these bundles really did brighten the holiday season for these families and especially for the kids. 

As we go forward into a bright new year, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the love you’ve shown KIAC and our immigrant neighbors.


THANK YOU!