January 24, 2019
 
International Institute of New England Raises $1M at Gala

December 30, 2018 — The International Institute of New England, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides resettlement, case management, literacy, job training and placement, legal assistance, and other services to refugees and immigrants, announced that it raised $1 million at its recent gala, setting a record for the annual event.

The Golden Door Award gala, which drew nearly 700 people to the InterContinental Hotel in Boston, was held in connection with the centennial celebration of the International Institute of New England (IINE).

Funds raised will be used to support its ongoing support of refugees and immigrants.

Last year, the gala raised $868,000.

“I am so encouraged by the philanthropic spirit demonstrated by our corporate sponsors and generous donors,” said chief development officer Elsa Gomes Bondlow. “Our Golden Door Award supporters are investing in the success of those who rely on IINE for important programming and support during their integration journeys."

She added, “We all can reach out to give, to volunteer and to help provide a welcoming environment to those seeking better lives in the United States, whether individually as neighbors in our communities or as employers in our diverse New England communities. IINE is here to help, but we can’t do it alone. Raising a million dollars in this centennial event is a testament to what can happen when we all come together.”

MIT President Rafael Reif was honored at the event with IINE's Golden Door Award.

Reif, who was raised in Venezuela after his parents moved there to flee Nazi Europe, said he is "convinced that the genius of America is that it is continually refreshed by immigration...by the passionate energy, ingenuity, and drive of people hungry for a better life. When we offer immigrants the gift of opportunity, we receive, in return, vital fuel for our future."

Founded in 1918, IINE today provides humanitarian relief, education, skills training, job placement, family reunification and pathways to citizenship for 2,000 immigrants and refugees each year. It is the oldest and second largest resettlement agency in the region and has the largest Central American family reunification program in Greater Boston. For the last 40 years, it has been settling refugees elsewhere in New England.

According to IINE, since 1975, the U.S. has admitted more than 3.3 million refugees, an average of 80,000 per year. However, for the year ending Sept. 30, 2018, the federal government imposed a ceiling of 45,000 refugees along with 10,000 special interest visa holders.

In 2015 and 2016, IINE resettled 625 and 623 refugees, respectively, dropping to 434 refugees in 2017. That number had been expected to drop to between 300 and 400 refugees and special interest visa holders in fiscal 2018.

For the year ending Sept. 30, 2017, IINE reported $5.92 million in revenue and $6.98 million in expenses, according to its most recently available audited financial report.

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