Fourteen people in the past week have contributed money to a fund that helps immigrants afford the fees required to apply for U.S. citizenship, more than doubling the $7,000 that an anonymous donor gave Arlington County to launch the effort.
The new contributors added $7,175 to the scholarship fund, said Kurt Larrick, a spokesman for Arlington’s Department of Human Services, which is managing the scholarship effort that was described in The Washington Post last week.
The county has not yet awarded any scholarships, Larrick said, but officials are sorting through applications and hope to do so soon.
The initial donor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity by name to protect her privacy, is a retired federal worker who has lived in Arlington nearly all her life.
For the past two years, she has volunteered teaching civics and language to immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. When she noticed that some put off taking the test even when they appeared ready, she guessed it was because they could not afford the $725 application fee.
The woman, whose four grandparents were all immigrants to the United States, said she wanted those seeking citizenship to feel welcomed by this country.
Those who wish to donate to the fund can write a check to Treasurer-Arlington County (Citizenship Scholarship) and send it to Department of Human Services — Citizenship Scholarship, 2100 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor, Arlington VA 22204.