October 28, 2020 United Thank Offering announced the grant recipients for the 2021 granting year, and we are excited to share that Episcopal Migration Ministries will receive funding for New Start Asylee Orientation Program by Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Service (IRIS), Los Angeles, CA. The focus of the granting process this year was ‘Recovering with Love and Gratitude: An Episcopal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Local Contexts.’

New Start Asylee Orientation Program

Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Service (IRIS), an affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries, is a trusted refugee and immigrant service provider in Los Angeles, CA.  Los Angeles has the largest number of asylum grants in the U.S. with more than 11,000 recently approved affirmative asylees living in the region. Asylees are one of most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19. They are not eligible for stimulus or unemployment funds and are often just released from immigration detention. Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Service (IRIS) will implement the New Start Asylee Orientation Program to help asylees access vital programs and support.

“Choosing which grant applications to fund and not fund is always difficult, but during this extraordinary time of suffering in the global Covid-19 pandemic we had to prioritize mere survival over thriving. As always, if we’d had more money to grant we would have been delighted to fund more the excellent grant projects submitted, so please continue to be thankful and make your thank offerings to UTO.” Shared Sherri Dietrich, UTO Board President.

The UTO funding will provide a comprehensive one-on-one asylee orientation program in the asylee’s native language.  IRIS will also provide “COVID support baskets”, face masks, nonperishable food, and hygiene items to each asylee household as an incentive to participate in the orientation.

United Thank Offering Funding

Every penny given to the United Thank Offering is given away the following year to support innovative mission and ministry in the Episcopal Church. Through the gratitude and generosity of those who contributed through Blue Box donations, UTO awarded about $400,000 in grants during this first round and will do a second round in the Spring of 2021.


The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute the 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

For more information on UTO:
The Rev. Canon Heather Melton
Staff Officer, The United Thank Offering
[email protected]