GF refugee-aid agency gets grant from BremerGrand Forks’ Global Friends Coalition, which works with international refugees resettled in the city, said Wednesday that it has received a new grant of $42,850 from the Otto Bremer Foundation.
By: By Chuck Haga , Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Grand Forks’ Global Friends Coalition, which works with international refugees resettled in the city, said Wednesday that it has received a new grant of $42,850 from the Otto Bremer Foundation.
The nonprofit group had received a similar grant from Bremer in 2010, but that support ended after a year, requiring some belt-tightening.
“This is very important for us, and we are grateful to the Otto Bremer Foundation for all they do for the city,” said Cynthia Shabb, program director at Global Friends.
The group helps refugees become more connected, engaged and contributing members of the community.
In addition to the new grant, Bremer has offered Global Friends advice on expanding its donor base for future support, according to Shabb. “They’ve told me what we need to do, and we’re working on that.”
Global Friends had relied in the past year on contributions of $8,000 from United Way, $5,000 from Lutheran Social Services and some individual donations, she said. In March, Global Friends raised about $3,400 through its “Soup in the Studio” event, hosted with other nonprofit partners.
Shabb said the new Bremer grant will pay for operating costs, promotion and support for the local World Refugee Day Fair June 16 at the Farmers Market downtown, which her group will co-host with Lutheran Social Services.
The Otto Bremer Foundation, majority shareholder of Bremer Bank, was created in 1944 to invest in communities by helping people achieve “full economic, civic and social participation” in those communities, according to Global Friends.
More than 500 refugees from Bhutan, Burundi, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia and other countries have been settled in Grand Forks over the past several years by Lutheran Social Services, acting with the U.S. State Department.
On the Web: www.gfcoalition.org, www.gfworldrefugeefair.org
Chuck Haga is a reporter
at the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.