A Successful Friendraiser!


On May 7, New York Justice For Our Neighbors held a “friendraiser” luncheon at the Chinese United Methodist Church in Chinatown, Manhattan! This friendraiser was an opportunity to honor the work of NY JFON attorneys, volunteers, and staff while celebrating the contributions of NY JFON supporters. The Chinese UMC was the first church to begin hosting NY JFON immigration clinics in 1999. Since then, we have continued our partnership with Chinese UMC to provide immigration legal services to thousands of New York’s immigrants.

The day of the event was rainy, but the weather did not deter the event organizers or guests. Everyone convened inside the Chinese UMC’s chapel, where volunteers served bento boxes and beverages. Event programming began with opening remarks from NY JFON Executive Director Rev. Paul Fleck, Chinese UMC Pastor Rev. Joseph Yang, and Metropolitan District Superintendent Rev. Simeon Law. In his opening remarks, Rev. Law, a Chinese-American, acknowledged May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Following opening remarks, Rev. Fleck, NY JFON Managing Attorney Thomas “TJ” Mills, Staff Attorney Samantha Blecher, and Clinic Coordinators Sue Lee and Amanda Lin appeared on stage for a panel discussion where they discussed the uniqueness of NY JFON’s model and how the work of NY JFON has personally impacted them. TJ remarked, “I know of no other agency that turns church basements into legal rights clinics and then provides full representation.” Amanda Lin, a former client of TJ’s who now coordinates the Chinese UMC clinic to help other immigrants receive legal relief, explained, “I volunteer because of how NY JFON helped me as a client and how TJ treated me as a client. I want our client to have the same feelings I got from NY JFON volunteers and attorneys. It is my way to Thank NY JFON.”

Following the panel discussion, the event was adjourned with a blessing by Rev. Joseph Yang. We want to thank all the volunteers and everyone who purchased tickets to the event! We had a wonderful time sharing our mission with the community!


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