ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A $75,000 check was awarded to the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus Inc. (RISSE). RISSE is a family-based center supporting newcomers in building sustainable lives in the U.S. The check amount was a surprise to the folks at RISSE. The organization provides English language training, family support services, job assistance, and more for refugees from Afghanistan and dozens of other countries.

“Albany, as a resettlement city, we are seeing an increasing number of people resettled here in the Capital Region,” said RISSE Executive Director Daniel Butterworth. This $75,000 grant will help RISSE expand its services and capacity. “Since the Afghan crisis in the fall we’ve seen about 200 folks arrive from Afghanistan and they are more folks who are arriving in the next few months and as far as the federal refugee count, we’re seeing a tenfold increase from the previous year,” said Butterworth.

The Business for Good Foundation was the group behind the generosity. They’re a Sarasota-based group with a big mission to help local organizations thrive. “We want to give to organizations that do the work but may not necessarily be widely known and so RISSE definitely does the work, they fit the mission, they serve a community that is growing here and they have a large need and we wanted to support them,” said Jahkeen Hoke, Executive Officer of the Business for Good Foundation.

RISSE provides a wide range of support to newly-arrived families, including youth and adult ESOL classes, resume and job skills education, paperwork assistance, referral to human service providers. RISSE works in collaboration with: the College of St. Rose, Capital Area BOCES, USCRI, SUNY Albany, Upper New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, Catholic Charities, and many other community groups.