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Fund honors woman, helps immigrants seeking citizenship

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Sometimes an immigrant to this country, seeking citizenship, can teach us or make us realize that not only is the United States a country of immigrants, but also how important and a privilege being an American really is.

Recently, the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation and the Multicultural Coalition joined forces to create The Khadija Abdudaim Citizenship Assistance Fund.

The fund is also referred to as the Daim Fund. It offers financial assistance to immigrants wishing to gain or are in the process of gaining U.S. citizenship.

Melissa DeLaet, CEO of the Greater Island Community Fund, said the foundation was glad to assist Zac and Sarah Griess and their family in honoring the legacy of their friend Khadija Hussein Abdudaim.

“The Daim Fund is an opportunity for us to expand our work focused on equity and inclusion,” DeLaet told The Grand Island Independent.

The funding is available to help immigrants with fees they face while working toward citizenship.

The Griesses started the fund to honor Khadija, a Sudanese woman the family helped tutor to gain her U.S. citizenship.

Sarah Griess and her husband, Zac, moved to Grand Island in 2015. Zac Griess became a board member of the Multicultural Coalition.

“I was also wanting a way to connect with the community and get involved,” Sarah Griess said.

She volunteered for the Multicultural Coalition’s Citizenship Readiness Program where Griess met Khadija in late 2017.

But it became more for the Griess family than just tutoring Khadija to become a citizen. It was also about learning how special immigrants believe becoming an American means to them and their families.

Griess and Khadija met once or twice a week. During those meetings, she assisted Khadija in learning English and...

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