Have you ever wanted to be a part of something special?
For me, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP) is that "something special." I have been a member of ILAP's pro bono panel since 2003, working primarily with asylum seekers to help them find a safe place in this world. This work has given my life a sense of purpose. It has helped me to see Maine as a wonderful haven for many people. And, most importantly, it has broadened my mind and helped me recognize that one person can make a difference.
Let me give you an example: One of my asylum clients is a woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who was forced to flee her home following a series of unspeakable attacks upon her and her family by both DRC government soldiers and rebel soldiers. When she and her children came to the United States, they spoke no English and had no support. Fortunately, they found their way to ILAP, who reached out to me and asked me to take the case pro bono. I worked with my client for more than 3 years, ultimately presenting her case to the Boston Immigration Court. After a 3-day trial, the Court granted my client and her children asylum.
When I think about that client and the supreme joy I felt when she was granted asylum, I am (admittedly) a bit tearful. For those who know me well, you know that I am not one who tears up easily. But I truly believe that without ILAP's help, my client would never have been able to navigate the immigration system. She would have been sent back to DRC to face horrors that we can only imagine. Now, my client is a productive member of society, holding a full-time job and volunteering in her community. Her children are in school, and one of them is even starting college.
There are thousands of stories just like this one, reflecting the important work that is done through ILAP. ILAP cannot do its important work without individual financial support, however.
Please help me ensure that ILAP's important services continue by making a $30 donation to our Open Door Campaign. My personal goal is to raise $5,000 for this amazing organization by February 14, 2014. Thank you for helping me reach this goal.