A significant barrier to becoming a US citizen is cost. According to Open Door Immigration Services, a nonprofit in Salem providing affordable legal services, citizenship applications cost $725.
“We host approx 15 students in our citizenship classes each semester, but cost is by far the biggest barrier to them submitting an application. I currently have two students in their early 20’s who are going to school, working, and trying to support families. They simply cannot afford an application for US citizenship right now,” explains Sage Shaw, the organization’s Director.
Thanks to NSCBC’s Outreach Ministries Fund, they won’t have to. This spring OMF approved a grant to scholarship these two students’ applications. This giving opportunity resonated with the OMF team for a number of reasons. First, we recognize that the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted immigrant communities, with many facing the loss of hourly wages without unemployment insurance or a stimulus check to help. These scholarships will open new opportunities to these two students for both work and civic participation.
Churches Partnering Together
Additionally, the OMF team was especially excited about the opportunity to support the work of Open Door Immigration Services as a program of our sister congregation, Highrock North Shore. This giving opportunity allows NSCBC to express our solidarity not only with immigrant neighbors but also with a sister congregation on the North Shore.
Learn more about the work of Open Door Immigration Services
What is Outreach Ministries Fund?
Years ago, as NSCBC planned a building expansion, leaders had the foresight to look beyond the walls they were building. They recognized that God’s kingdom is so much bigger than the programs of one church. As a Fund, OMF represents an ongoing commitment to give a percent of capital revenue toward the mission of the global Church. Each quarter, a team gathers to consider applications and provide funding for projects both local and worldwide. OMF prefers to support projects that involve church members and world partners, or those of neighbors and friends. If you are involved in your local community (or anywhere else in the world) and have a project that needs financial support, we invite you to read more and apply on the church website or speak with OMF Chair, Anne Bajema.