Irida Sanctuary Fund

For: Irida Kakhtiranova
Northampton, MA
Organizer: Pioneer Valley Workers Center and Western MA Jobs with Justice
Irida Sanctuary Fund (Irida Kakhtiranova)
$5,460
of $15,000 goal
36% Complete
Raised by 62 donors

The Story

Hello and thank you for visiting my page, 


My name is Irida Kakhtiranova and I am a mother, wife, and resident of Western Massachusetts where I have lived and worked for over ten years. On April 6th, 2018,  facing deportation and being seperated from my family, I took sanctuary with the Unitarian Society of Northampton. I am now asking this wonderful and supportive community for help as I fight an unjust immigration system and try and keep my family together. 

You can read a little about my story here: http://www.gazettenet.com/russian-immigrant-takes-sanctuary-in-Northampton-unitarian-society-16773878 .


Life doesn’t always go as planned and, as hard as it is now, I have loved the life I have made in this country. I originally came to the United States from Russia in 2003. Soon thereafter I met and fell in love with my husband, who is a U.S. citizen and, in 2007, I gave birth to my oldest child, a funny and strong boy who is now ten years old. A few years later we had twin girls who are now four years old. We are a very close and loving family. 


My husband has been sick for the last few years and is unable to work. Because of this, I have been the sole breadwinner for the family. Luckily, I am very hard working and have been employed as a waitress at a local restaurant for the past seven years. By serving members of this community food, I have learned about your lives and your stories. I love people and I especially love how accepting and kind people here are. Together you have shared your stories, joys, and sorrows, while I have served you tea and coffee, burgers and fries. It is a humbling experience to ask for help in any way but I know that this area is supportive and kind and I know I will continue to give back in my own way when I am able. 


I don’t know how long I will be in sanctuary but I know that I will fight as long as I need to protect my family and keep us together. I am so grateful for the unbelievable community here at the UU and the Pioneer Valley Worker’s Center who have given me a place to stay, volunteers to support me, and comfort in this difficult time. My children and husband come and visit me on the weekends and, because I cannot work, we need financial assistance to pay our rent and provide for their daily needs. I will also be working with lawyers to help me fight my deportation and will need to pay for legal assistance and any fees to the court. 


I am so grateful to each and every one of you who is reading this letter. Even if you cannot financially assist me I would appreciate it if you would share this letter with any family and friends. Trenton Lee Stewart said, "Is this what family is like: the feeling that everyone is connected, that with one piece missing, the whole thing is broken?" and I hold that deep in my heart. We are all connected and I am grateful for your support in fighting for me and my family. 


I greatly appreciate the help and I want you to know that it is you and my family that keep me going every day.

With hope,
Irida 

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 8, 2018

Posted on June 8, 2018

Hello friends and family! Everyone is probably wondering how I am doing and if there is anything new happening. I am hanging in there. Sometimes you think that you already have enough problems, but every time you think that, more of them add to your pile. In the last two weeks I have spent so much time on the phone with the insurance company, sometimes two phones at the same time, hours at a time, without any result. Oh my god, it is so hard to be calm and stay sane when you are a half an hour away from solving the problem, and not being able to do so. I'm thankful for my husband ,taking on so many tasks on himself and helping as much as he can, my friends who are here and ready to help without my asking. I was surprised to see how many people are willing to put their time and efforts in helping me. I couldn't have done it without you.

This is a real heartbreaking week for me... My boy, my little man graduated from the elementary school. I wasn't there. First time that I wasn't there for a concert. Some people might say, there is still more graduations, middle school, high school, it's not that bad. But it is.  We try to do best by our family and children throughout our lives, help them when they need it, be there for them when they have happy and exciting accomplishments. I have to stay here and fight so I can give them that in the future. I don't get a redo.. It is not fair.

Thank you guys, for pictures, videos, understanding and support. It does cheer me up to see that more and more people are helping my family and I. It's because of you and my family that I won't give up!!!  

Thank you!


Posted on May 16, 2018

Posted on May 16, 2018

Happy belated Mother's Day!!! It has been a busy and overwhelming week!!! My family stayed with me for the whole day on Sunday, to make sure that  mommy is happy on this holiday.... I was happy and sad- happy because i have an amazing husband and children and father-in-law, sad-because they had to go home at the end of the day, and i couldn't... It has been a month since I came here, and if it wasn't for my family and Your help and support, I wouldn't make it this far! Thank you all for being there for me, thank you for the warm words, thank you for listening . I am very glad that I have you in my life!!!


Posted on May 7, 2018

Posted on May 7, 2018

Hi everyone. It has only been a week and I cannot believe that people are already reacting. Thank you very much for being there for me in the tough times . I appreciate each and every one of you taking the time, hearing my story and donating to my fund. One week before I came to the sanctuary I lost hope ,I thought that there is no way I would make it. Coming here and fighting for what's right with other people behind my back-that is what gave me my hope back. Not a day goes by without me thinking what could happen to my family and I if we didn't have your support. I hope that I win, I hope that WE TOGETHER can make it better. Its hard to make a decision to go into the sanctuary and practically put your life on "pause", but with your help I'm looking forward to "to be continued" and a Happy ending!!!

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