It has been one month since I started working as the Executive Director of KIAC. I always imagined it would be a very special place to work, but after these last weeks, I can share that it is much more special than I imagined. There is no job more rewarding than serving others, and being part of the KIAC team makes me proud and gives me a great sense of belonging.
I admire the commitment, dedication, and effort that our staff puts into assisting each and every one of our clients. Our commitment, together with that of the Board of Directors and our volunteers, represents hope in the lives of those who turn to us.
Here are some of the highlights for the month of October:
We continued providing medical clinics three times a month and dental clinics twice monthly. These clinics remain full each week. If you or someone you know needs these services, call (360) 616-2722 to make an appointment.
In order to strengthen our team and combine efforts, we recently held a professional retreat for all members of our Board of Directors and staff Leadership Team. It was an excellent opportunity for professional growth and sharing.
On October 31, we celebrated Halloween and welcomed several of our participants’ children to the KIAC office. They received candy and pumpkins to celebrate this holiday and made festive crafts.
We are completing applications for the Covid-19 Washington Immigrant Relief Fund until November 14, 2022. So far, we have filled out over 600 applications! If you or someone you know qualifies for this round of WIRF funding, visit our office or call (360) 616-2722.
KIAC’s Accredited Representatives continue to assist with a variety of immigration legal matters including naturalizations, asylum cases, and green card renewals, among others. We are experiencing record-high volumes of calls from immigrants seeking immigration legal representation and support.
I was forwarded an email exchange between our staff members and volunteer Accredited Representatives and lawyers. They exchanged recent success stories and we were heartened by all of the good news. One of our ARs wrote about her client, “On Tuesday, she walked into the Homeland Security Building as a legal permanent resident and out as a U.S. Citizen!”
We invite you to continue to stay in touch with our newsletters and social networks so you’re aware of the opportunities and services offered by KIAC. We thank you for your partnership over the years, and for your support that make this work possible.
A few months ago, Ana heard the two words we all dread, the two words that change the trajectory of your life. It’s cancer.
Ana has been a patient at KIAC’s medical clinic for several years, and although KIAC didn’t directly provide the testing, surgery, and treatment Ana needed for her cancer, our relationships with West Sound Free Clinic and Project Access allowed KIAC to be a trusted hub for Ana during one of the most challenging times of her life.
KIAC team members supported Ana by completing paperwork, translating test results, and providing a grocery gift card to cover some of her expenses. We connected Ana with a health navigator and helped her gather the documents necessary for approval under Washington’s Alien Emergency Medical Program. Because of this, 100% of Ana’s treatment costs are covered.
KIAC staff have been in touch with Ana multiple times since surgery, and she continues to recover well. For immigrants like Ana, KIAC’s free medical clinic and partnerships with healthcare providers are literally lifesaving.
When you make a gift to KIAC, you fund this work.
We have just one week left to raise $25,000 to fund the hub of services only KIAC provides, and we are nearly halfway to our goal! Make a gift today to support your immigrant neighbors and help us reach our goal.
Ana told us she is grateful for the kindness and consistency she finds at KIAC. It gave her hope and motivation to know we were there for her through it all. She provided the photo below to share along with her story. We are very thankful to have Ana in our community and be part of life.
Greetings to you all. This is the first time I have the honor of addressing each of you. My name is Jayson Vega, and I am a native of Puerto Rico. On September 19, I started working as Executive Director at Kitsap Immigrant Assistant Center, replacing Interim Executive Director Thangam Chandrasekaran, who did a masterful job leading our organization for the past nine months.
It is an honor to be part of this organization and to be able to lead an excellent group of professionals, who every day give their best to assist those who require our services. I accepted this new role with enthusiasm and hope, and with the certainty that our organization will build upon the successes of the past.
Here are a few highlights from September:
KIAC team members began outreach and application assistance as part of our contract with the Washington Immigrant Relief Fund (WIRF) — a fund advocated for by immigrants, for those immigrants impacted by the pandemic who did not qualify for existing assistance. KIAC applied for and was contracted, along with dozens of other community organizations around the state, to do outreach and assist immigrants in applying for relief checks. So far, we have completed over 300 applications totaling $300,000 in assistance for our immigrant neighbors. Applications close November 14. To find out more, visit immigrantreliefwa.org
We partnered with KiDiMu in early September for a space-themed event for KIAC’s youngest clients. Here at KIAC, books in both Spanish and Mam were read aloud for the kids to enjoy, and they colored pictures and put together paper solar systems.
Several KIAC team members have participated in outreach activities to talk about KIAC, the work we do in the communities we serve, and the challenges immigrants face in our region. Larry Chin, KIAC’s Legal Services Director presented at Enlighten Kitsap and Heron’s Key and Kimberly Cizek Allen, KIAC’s Development & Marketing Director spoke with the League of Women Voters and the Bremerton Rotary.
Thanks to your support, we continue improving and expanding our services. I urge you to continue supporting KIAC, our work team, our volunteers, but above all our immigrants who every day rise and contribute to the progress of our community.
I encourage you to watch our animated video about “KIAC the Hub” and make a gift today.