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    Getting people started on the path to citizenship

    Day 319

    A Guide Along the Way

    The International Institute of Minnesota (IIM) is an incredible resource for permanent residences in Minnesota, seeking to become U.S. citizens. These are individuals and families who love this country and want to contribute. But the process can be confusing. So IIM offers free appointments for people to receive guidance and support through all the complicated steps.

    In a typical session, they have 3 or 5 volunteers helping individuals with their application. While this makes an incredible difference for those they are able to help, there are many more families on the waitlist – and they’re at risk of missing their window of opportunity to apply.

    So we decided to help IIM do the doable.

    We put out a call to our own network, and over 40 volunteers signed up to help! On a Saturday no less!

    Danielle and Michelle have been friends since middle school. Each of them married a non-U.S. citizen – Danielle’s husband is from Mexico, and this last February he finally received his citizenship after working for it for 7 years. Michelle’s husband, from Argentina, is still in the process of getting his citizenship, and they hope to receive it sometime next year. For the 2 of them, the process has been long and difficult. And they recognize that it’s even more difficult for those who don’t have access to resources.

    “I have a communications background and money to afford an attorney,” said Danielle. “I don’t know that we would have done without that.”

    “We understand we are just a small piece in this puzzle today,” said Michelle, “but anything we can do to help on this journey we want to do.” Danielle feels the same. “I got up this morning so happy I could come!” she said. “I felt I was going to do something so good today.”

    Holly, a former Alight Board Member, gave her time at IIM as well, helping two people with their applications and taking a full hour with each with them. “I saw the information about this, and realized it’s something I could do,” she said. “It’s doing the doable. It makes me happy to be here.”

    Because of these incredible volunteers and more, 47 people were guided through the process and able to get their citizenship applications submitted!

    A man from Nigeria shared his gratitude for those who were supporting him on this journey. “In life, when you meet the right people, it guides you through,” he said, “even through the struggle.”

    We’re grateful we could help ease that struggle for so many – in just a few hours!

    IIM is always looking for volunteers to help with this process. If interested in volunteering, please reach out to Natasha at 651-647-0191 ext 348 or

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

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