Wednesday, July 4, 2007

New multi-cultural center could help immigrants

La Alianza could help with immigration, culture, language


By EXPRESS STAFF
Express Staff Writer

Immigrants to the Wood River Valley may soon have a place to help them transition to a new culture if plans to open a community multi-cultural center become reality.

Organizers hope to create a place called La Alianza (The Alliance) to help immigrants find local resources. They plan to open the center by Sept. 1 at the College of Southern Idaho campus in Hailey, said Blaine County Commissioner Sarah Michael.

Michael is part of an advisory committee, which will hire an executive director for the organization.

She has been working with a steering committee in efforts to raise $75,000 to open La Alianza.

The center will help immigrants with referrals for legal and immigration assistance, translations, English classes, and help in understanding U.S. culture. The organization will initially focus on Spanish-speaking immigrants.

According to a news release, St. Thomas Episcopal Church contributed $5,000 to the effort, and a local philanthropist gave $20,000. La Alianza's advisory committee is seeking contributions from individuals, organizations and businesses.

Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to: La Alianza, c/o The Advocates, P.O. Box 3216, Hailey, Idaho, 83333.




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