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Featured Grantee Partner: International Rescue Committee – Tucson

Interview Series: Transformational Grantmaking

What are three interesting things people don’t know about the International Rescue Committee?

  • The founding of the IRC was inspired by Albert Einstein, and the need to establish a solid foundation for refugee resettlement in the U.S.
  • Outside of our resettlement work, we have a Nutrition and Food Security Program that connects refugees to community gardening opportunities.
  • We also offer immigration services, not just to refugees, but to all immigrants seeking assistance with green card and citizenship applications.

What are you most excited about that’s happening at your organization?

There are a lot of things to be excited about, but right now it’s expanding our areas of programming, including Women’s Empowerment.

How has a grant from the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona transformed your organization? Is there something you now do differently?

If it wasn’t for the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, the IRC wouldn’t have a Women’s Empowerment Program. The WFSA helped shape our strategic action plan, and introduced us to a new donor base that has enabled us to continue our excellence in programming and services to this vulnerable refugee population.

How has your organization grown stronger, increased its impact or changed because of your partnership with the Women’s Foundation?

The IRC has grown—and grown stronger—because of the WFSA. We have expanded IRC’s services to increase the number of individuals directly affected by our programming. This means that we can now serve more people, and we can serve them better.

How did you first hear about the Women’s Foundation and their grants?

One of our contacts within the community led us to the wonderful work of the Women’s Foundation.

What keeps you up at night when thinking about your organization?

Our clients keep me up at night. I think about the adjustment and well-being of our clients and the funding to sustain current programs.

What do you see ahead for women and girls in Southern Arizona?

I see positive things for women and girls in Southern Arizona. I see women being better informed to make better life choices. I also see women and girls will be better integrated into a diverse community and able to work and develop relationships more successfully.

And finally, is there anything else you would like to add about how the Women’s Foundation helps you in fulfilling the mission of your organization?

We’re just so grateful for the attention and support that the Women’s Foundation has given us. Thank you.

Jeff Cornish is the Director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an organization that was founded in 1933 to deliver life-saving care to people fleeing conflict and natural disaster.

Special thanks to Women’s Foundation volunteers Gabriela Cervantes and Liz Levine for interviewing this organization and for serving as guest editors.