Kristin Helling's Fundraising Page
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Kristin Helling's Fundraising Page
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Hello Friends-


There are families slipping through the cracks who cannot afford food and may loose their shelter during this unprecedented crisis.  I have volunteered for and known about the great work of The International Institute of Minnesota for many years.   I volunteered to work with a family from Africa which was a blessing for me and my girls.  As a volunteer with this family, I was their advocate on medical visits and helped them navigate services for their daughter in school among other things.  As families needs are different, other volunteers help people learn the bus system or how to navigate the grocery store.  The family I worked with waited for over 10 years to get a Visa to come to America and the transition was difficult.  As an expat who lived in Germany, I experienced the challenges of acclimating to a new country, however, my experience pales in comparison to the challenges these families are facing.   This organization does amazing work to support those who are vulnerable and is often the first place New Americans call for support and guidance!  Please join me in supporting our neighbors with a donation of any amount you can- I will match all donations up to $6,000 to help reach my goal of $12,000.   100% of your donation will go directly to support the clients monetary needs. 


The International Institute began its journey in 1919 and supports immigrants and refugees to achieve full membership in American life.  IIM is generally a services based organization, however, in this unprecedented time of need they are also finding an immediate need for financial support to New Americans to pay for essentials such as rent.  As you know these are very difficult times for all and even harder for those who cannot afford to buy food or pay their rent.   To respond to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on certain communities, the Institute has created the Basic Needs Fund to support their clients who do not have access to government aid. These folks live and work in our communities, but for a variety of reasons are not eligible to receive the stimulus check and/or unemployment benefits that so many people who have lost their income are counting on. 


If you are interested in knowing more, below outlines information regarding the Basic Need Fund and what your donation will support,

  • The Basic Needs Fund is for people and families unable to access other forms of assistance.

  • Examples of individuals the International Institute of MN will support with the money from this fund:

    • Families of children who arrive in the US unaccompanied.  

    • People who recently received affirmative asylum or are human trafficking survivors and can’t access work authorization because the social security office is closed.

Additional issues which hinder individuals from receiving adequate support. 

  • When calculating unemployment the assumption is people work one job, 40 hours a week.  However, most of the Institute's clients work 2-3 jobs part-time. Their benefits are then calculated based on the income from their highest paying job, not a combination of all their jobs which can leave the benefits received minimal and not sufficient to pay basic necessities.  

  • There is another federal add on benefit of $600/week.  However, that benefit hasn’t been added to the accounts of people who began collecting unemployment before this week. 

  • Everyone receiving funds is also working with an employment counselor, multilingual case manager or immigration staff to make sure they also have access to food assistance, energy assistance, etc.  (If there are children in the house, everyone has access to SNAP for example. But they have to enroll and often need assistance in doing so.)

During this crisis I have seen beautiful acts of generosity and courage.   I know many of us feel helpless as we move through this crisis.  Financially supporting a family in crisis is one way to have a big impact on those who struggle to meet their basic needs.  


Please consider giving above and beyond your normal yearly giving. 

Thank-you and blessings-

Kristin Helling 


ABOUT (FY20) The Basic Needs Fund
Name Date Amount Comments
Kristin Helling 08/06/2020 $600.00  
Cassidy Meeks 07/07/2020 $25.00 I am Honored to support this important work.
Carley Stuber 07/05/2020 $45.00 Thanks Kristin.
Nancy Maiello 06/28/2020 $300.00 I'm in. Thanks for the sharing this opportunity.
Lisa Herklotz 06/26/2020 $200.00 Thank you Kristin for setting this up!
Jamie Woell 06/11/2020 $200.00  
Sue Murray 06/08/2020 $50.00 Thank you Kristin for being such an amazing advocate for this organization!
Jenny Bock 06/08/2020 $200.00  
Liz Stanton 06/08/2020 $150.00  
Barbara Metz 05/24/2020 $100.00  
Anonymous Friend 05/23/2020 $100.00  
AnneMarie Klimek 05/23/2020 $100.00 A cause (and good soul) I can get behind!
Kristin Helling 05/23/2020 $500.00 Yeah- 20% there toward my goal!!
Krista Kandt 05/17/2020 $20.00  
Rosann Cahill 05/17/2020 $50.00 Keep up the good work!
Deborah Saul 05/17/2020 $100.00  
Kristin Helling 05/16/2020 $500.00 Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for all you did as New Americans to create a better life for your kids and grandkids!
James Knudson 05/16/2020 $500.00  
Sara Metz 05/16/2020 $100.00  
  Total $3,840.00  
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