When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, there was no place to stay.

The inns were full. There were no other places to go. When the innkeeper saw that Mary was due at any moment, he told Mary and Joseph that they could stay in his stable. Soon after that, Mary delivered the baby Jesus, and the world has never been the same.

As we begin this Christmas season, we remember how Jesus came into the world and his message of faith in God and love for all, which is central to St. Vincent Catholic Charities’ vision.

That’s why we continue to help refugees resettle in the Lansing area and reach self-sufficiency. Many of our refugees faced political or religious persecution back home and had no choice but to leave to pursue a better life for their families.

For refugees and asylum seekers, their faith is strong, but their families were threatened, and their freedom was a distant dream. But now, they’re in America, the land of liberty.

You may have heard some of their stories before. There is Paul, a farmer from Burundi who came to Lansing last year with seven children. he and his family have known nothing but hunger all their lives. The year before, you heard the story of Wahid, Nada, and their children, who came to Lansing after the Taliban violently took over Afghanistan. In both cases, these families had no choice but to leave their countries and ask for help.

In the case of these two families and many others, St. Vincent Catholic Charities welcomed them to Lansing, provided a home to help with their transition, helped them learn our language and enroll their kids in school, got them the medical attention they needed, and helped them find work.

After we’ve helped refugee families transition to life in the Lansing area, our Immigration Law Clinic is there to assist with a wide spectrum of legal services. Family reunification, adjustment of status, citizenship, and asylum are handled by our two expert immigration attorneys.

A lot happens behind the scenes that you may not be aware of. From the time they leave their home country until they’re settled, achieve asylum, and/or gain citizenship, St. Vincent Catholic Charities attorneys handle every legal matter.

We give hope and a safe place to call home. 

St. Vincent Catholic Charities is MORE committed than ever before to meet the needs of every refugee who comes to Lansing.

That’s why we’ve set a goal of raising $100,000 over the next 30 days.

During this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I hope I can count on you once again to come through for those we serve. You’ve been there before and I’m so thank for you!

For those refugee families who are spending their first December in Lansing, we want to make sure their first Christmas in America is one to remember. And we’re thankful to God for the opportunity to serve them because of the support you provide.

We reunite families. We upgrade legal status. We leave no stone unturned, because…

We know these families have been through a difficult journey, and they deserve our help.

They have been persecuted, tormented, abused, threatened, and vilified.

Now they’re in America, and it’s time for their lives to become infinitely better.

It’s Christmas, and at St. Vincent Catholic Charities, we are ready.

We’re ready because of the generous hearts and loving spirits of extraordinary supporters like you who live the timeless truth from Acts 20:35:

It’s better to give than to receive.

You make good things happen and great things possible through St. Vincent Catholic Charities. As I visit with those refugee families that we have served, I cannot tell you how much joy it brings to my heart to see their new beginnings. 

I know it brings great joy to your heart too as you read what your generous support can accomplish. So, as we begin our 2023 Annual Christmas Appeal, please take a moment and give as generously as you can. We’ve set an aggressive goal of raising $100,000 this year, so I hope I can count on your support to help meet this critical goal.

Your continued generosity means so much during this Christmas season.

May God always bless and keep you,

Joe Garcia