Beginning this year, Eli Lilly and Company Foundation and Cummins, Inc. will be working with the Immigrant Welcome Center (IWC) on projects that will both further strengthen Indianapolis as a community welcoming to everyone, and support immigrants and refugees along their path to community integration.
"At Cummins, we believe supporting diversity and promoting inclusion is not just the right thing to do, but good for our business," Marya Rose, Cummins chief administrative officer, said in a press release. "The work of the Immigrant Welcome Center to support immigrants new to our community is an important component of creating a diverse and welcoming environment and we appreciate the good work of the Immigrant Welcome Center."
Rob Smith, president of the Lilly Foundation, added, "Lilly is proud to join Cummins in supporting the Immigrant Welcome Center. The IWC and its volunteers do a great job connecting new neighbors to resources in our community. The IWC will play a key role in helping Indianapolis realize the full benefits of our city's remarkable and growing diversity."
The two companies will support the IWC's Natural Helper volunteer program, a program that connects established immigrants with immigrant newcomers. The IWC currently has 91 volunteers who represent 40 countries and speak 51 languages. The companies will support training for additional Natural Helpers and also engage their employees in addressing the needs of immigrants.
Immigrants and refugees may also seek information and referral at the Immigrant Welcome Center's five neighborhood branches. The support of two of the largest employers in Central Indiana will allow the IWC to expand programs and services into other neighborhoods and potentially open a sixth branch on the near east side of Indianapolis.
At the branches, volunteers provide information and referral to immigrants and refugees for employment, housing, legal, health care, language assistance and other needs.