Siblings in Christ of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod,

2021 was many things — frustrating, surprising, heartbreaking, and heartening — to name a few. At Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, however, the word we find ourselves using the most is transformative.

Like all of you, we found ourselves facing parallel crises: the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, an influx of vulnerable immigrant children at our border, and the devastating refugee crisis in Afghanistan. While it was an incredibly difficult year in many ways, it was also one of the most inspiring in our 83-year history.

People of faith and communities like yours stepped up in ways that we never could have expected to meet
this moment and fulfill our Biblical call to welcome the stranger. In the last year alone:

  • 100,000 volunteers signed up to support our refugee and immigrant neighbors
  • Supporters provided more than $30,000 worth of essential items like cell phones and gift cards to our Afghan brothers and sisters
  • 14,000+ generous donors opened their hearts to the ministry of welcome
  • LIRS welcomed more than 10,500 Afghans through our nationwide resettlement network
  • Our team assisted in reunifying or placing nearly 33,000 children in loving homes
  • We sent nearly 20,000 holiday cards and 1,750+ gifts to families affected by immigration detention
  • LIRS launched several exciting new programs and offices, such as field offices in Northern Virginia and Fargo, ND; the New American Cities economic empowerment program; Mental Health services for refugee children and families, and more.

Our resettlement and immigration services were complemented by our ever-growing slate of annual programs, which offer the public opportunities to ADAPT: Act, Donate, Advocate, Pray, and Teach. We invite you to engage with LIRS, as an individual or community, through one of our five key programs:

In 2022, we are deepening our commitment to the work of welcome and believe that together, we can realize Matthew 25:35 in communities across the United States. We are so grateful for your astounding support and look forward to welcoming our newest neighbors alongside you.

In Peace,
Dr. Kristin Witte, Director for Outreach

National Headquarters
700 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone: 410-230-2700
Fax: 410-230-2890

Advocacy Office
110 Maryland Avenue NE, Suite 506/507, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-381-1030
Fax: 202-330-5807


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