The Diversity Service Center of Iowa in Muscatine has celebrated its 20th anniversary.
“I came to the diversity service center because my wife and I were getting immigrant adjustment status.,” said Oscar Garcia, a 20-year volunteer who describes his first encounter with the organization. He felt the compassion of those at the center first-hand.
The center helps immigrants with paperwork and the immigration process, as well as providing translation assistance to help mitigate struggles that come along with language barriers for those in the Quad Cities who don’t speak fluent English.
“There’s so much each culture brings to our community that makes it prosper,” said Rosa Mendoza, executive director for the center.
A primary purpose of the many programs and initiatives the organization boasts rests in a foundation of unity: Unifying families and integrating them into a caring community.
“They don’t have to worry every day that they step out of their home if they’re ever going to come back home or see their family,” Mendoza said. “Being able to reunify families so they may continue together to prosper in life that is so rewarding – nothing can replace that.”
To Mendoza, the United States represents a vibrant melting pot of different cultures. “There are myths out there about the immigration population,” she said. “We may be perceived in a negative way.”
As the organization continues to celebrate its 20th year of service, they look forward to the future.
“The need is great and we’ve been able to fulfill that need and will continue to do that as long as we can … for another 20 years,” Mendoza said.
The organization plans to continue to expand.