For immigrants and refugees in need of immediate assistance upon arrival in the US, government-appointed agencies often move too slowly. IROC was created to quickly connect newcomers with local volunteers to begin building a new life in America. Each household is paired with a peer, who identifies and refers them to resources to meet their social and material needs — whether it means delivering warm meals and culturally sensitive groceries or providing car seats or school supplies to newly arrived families. New and expecting mothers receive baby supplies while jobseekers are equipped with resume and interview assistance, mentorship, and vocational training scholarships. In the summer, children engage in sports, arts and crafts, and community discussions for free. With well over 100 volunteers helping newcomers arrive, survive, and thrive, IROC has become — as one participant puts it — "like a shield."
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Each year 150+ community advocates review applicants on the basis of governance, equity, and impact. Each featured nonprofit has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. Spur Local charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $57 million for nonprofits across the Greater Washington region.
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