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Tropical Leaves

Turning Care Into Action

Our purpose is to extend a welcoming hand to immigrant families who are new to our community. When families face obstacles, we are here to help; we provide them with the tools they need to build a future where their talents and skills will help them fulfill the dreams they had when they first arrived in this country.  


Since our founding in 2016, ISCU has grown to include the support of over 45 faith-based, university and community groups and hundreds of individuals from across the greater Champaign-Urbana area. ​Our family liaisons and community guides work with families to determine their needs. How we support includes groceries, health supplies, household goods, baby & toddler items, transportation, and rent and utility assistance.  Our staff and volunteers also help families navigate to find resources, including securing medical care and available benefits, housing, jobs, English-as-a-Second-Language classes, legal assistance, and more depending on their individual needs. 



Haydee Adelita, treasurer

Jennifer Gover Bannon, Legal Assistant Team Leader 

Janice Jayes

Lorraine Crummey 

Neelma Mehmood, Immigrant Mental Health Team Leader 


Austin Cyphersmith, Secretary

Rob Ore, Immigrant Emergency Assistance Fund Active Partner

David Dorman, Transportation Team Leader

John Wilkie, Legal Assistance Team Member

Nils Jacobsen, President

—— STAFF ——

Ben Mueller, Executive Director

Francisco Jimenez, Warehouse Assistant

Maria Bautista, Community Health Navigator 

Lesley Nava, Community Health Navigator 

Wayne Carr, Warehouse Driver

Carolyn Maille-Petersen, ISCU Warehouse Team Leader 

Ashley Chang, Community Health Navigator 

Susan Simon Pedro, Community Health Navigator 

Anthony Erlinger, Community Health Navigator 

Jeffrey Scott, social Worker

Tim Flavin, Community Health Navigator 

Davetta Watson, Community Health Navigator 


Abdullah Ozkaldi, Coordinator Illinois Public Health Association Program

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