Refugee Services

New Staff Profile: John Lamont

profile picture of John Lamont

We’re excited to introduce you to the newest member of our team, John Lamont! John joins us having just graduated with a history degree from Williams College in Massachusetts. He has a strong interest in immigration and environmental law, and the prevalence of immigrant and refugee stories in political news over the past few years has really raised his awareness. John also feels a personal connection to refugee resettlement through his grandfather, who came to the United States as a refugee from Lithuania in the 1950s.

New Staff Profile: Miriam

Miriam’s varied life experiences have come together in a unique way to equip her for her new role as a Refugee Employment Counselor with MCC Refugee Services. Miriam was raised in a Mennonite family who valued hospitality and making room for outsiders, and that has deeply shaped her interests and values.

A Big Problem in a Small Community: Payday lending debt in Mankato

MCC Refugee Services in Mankato recently agreed to partner with an initiative of the Minneapolis Synod ELCA working to combat predatory payday lending in Minnesota communities. Payday loans are small loans, usually less than $500, that charge a high interest rate and must be repaid in full by the next paycheck. Families without financial margins can become easily entrapped in a devastating cycle of payday loans.

Blue Earth County has the 3rd highest rate of payday loans per capita in Minnesota and the statistics are staggering. For example, in 2018 there were:

Sisters Making a Difference

Members of the Delta Phi Omega Chapter in the Twin Cities made a generous donation of grocery gift cards for particularly vulnerable families who arrived with refugee status this year. These gift cards provided tangible support and the encouragement of welcome to each of these families. But how did the sisters in this chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha come to make the donation? Every donation has a story, a point where the donors heard about refugees and decided to take action. We wanted to share a bit of that story with you, as told by their president, Mary Dedeaux-Swinton.

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