This year’s recipient of Belmont UMC’s Christmas Miracle offering, Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors (TNJFON), serves a growing need in our community as more immigrants begin a new life in Nashville.

TNJFON, a nonprofit organization, provides free or low-cost legal services to immigrants who are eligible for humanitarian-based immigration relief, advocates for immigrants’ rights, and educates the community about immigration issues. During their legal clinics, TNJFON staff and lawyers provide a free intake screening to determine if there is a form of immigration relief available. TNJFON also trains lawyers and law students on immigration law and provides a free multi-session educational program to noncitizen parents to help them understand the U.S. immigration system and how to be more informed participants in their immigration case. In 2020, TNJFON launched a Spanish language podcast entitled “Oye Vecino” which translates to “Hey Neighbor” to inform the immigrant community.

TNJFON is a trauma-informed, anti-racist organization, serving all regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Belmont member and TNJFON executive director, Tessa DelPino says, “Tennessee Justice for our Neighbors has represented thousands of individuals entitled to relief under U.S. Immigration law. Many of our clients are survivors of serious crimes, domestic violence, and trafficking. Some are children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. Many came to the U.S. years ago as young children. Each and every one of them is a child of God, who deserves safety, security, and to be treated with dignity.”

Belmonter Jeff Sheehan is the president of the TNJFON Board of Directors. The organization was launched at Belmont and once held office space in the choir loft. Over the years, many Belmont UMC members have volunteered in and supported Tennessee Justice for our Neighbors.

You can give online Realm, text “BELMONT CHRISTMAS” to 73256 to give using your mobile device, or by sending a check to the church. Please put “Christmas Miracle Offering” in the memo line.

JFON will also be the recipient of our December Communion offering.