As the coronavirus continues to surge across the US, Latinos are also still enduring its worst impacts.
While there was a notable lack of support from officials in Washington over the last year, many businesses, as well as their leaders, have stepped in to help those in need. Through charitable donations, some Latinos throughout the country are finally getting the assistance they deserve.
This assistance has been a long time coming, according to San Francisco’s Latino Community Foundation (LCF) Vice President of Programs, Masha Chernyak — whose organization will pay forward a $2 million dollar donation to specifically provide support to Latinos.
“We have taken that incredible American generosity and given it to a community that has been locked out of philanthropic resources,” she told SF Gate. “Latinos feel forgotten by philanthropy. They feel invisible. What we want to do is to make sure they loved, supported and respected.”
Many Businesses Trying to Make a Difference for Latinos During the Pandemic
LCF’s donation will aid 43 different Latino-led nonprofits throughout California.
Moreover, the money will specifically help those who need it the most, including older Latinos, undocumented residents, and the laborers facing significant risk while doing essential work. These individuals reside in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and other neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
“Working from home is a privilege that most Latinos do not have in this state and this nation,” Chernyak told SF Gate. “It’s a disgrace that during the holiday season, Latino families were afraid of losing their apartments and homes because they couldn’t afford to make rent. If one parent has to stay home to stay care of the kids because of virtual learning, that means loss of income.
Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is also getting to help students of color thanks to a sizable donation from business leaders in the city. Derica Rice and Robin Rice-Nelson gave $1 million that will specifically fund scholarships for students of color.
Charity like this can change lives, according to Idalene Kesner, dean of the IU Kelley School of Business.
“The opportunities their gift provides to future business leaders — the gift of education — produces benefits far, far greater than one program or school or university,” Kesner said in a statement.
In Charlotte, The Latin American Chamber of Commerce fed 6,000 Latinos working in restaurants who have faced hardship due to COVID through its Community Kitchen Program.
The Kroger Company has also decided to pay for all its employees’ coronavirus vaccinations, which could go to help a number of the organization’s Latino employees.
Chernyak of the LCF said these types of aid programs can be a big boost, as Latinos and all people await the next government relief effort. Officials in Washington are still in the midst of debating the next stimulus check — specifically about how much and which income brackets will receive this money
“Most people who work in low wage labor do not have savings,” she said. “They live paycheck to paycheck.”
What You Can Do
While everyone might not be able to assist others financially, there are ways to help — including advocating for change, according to Latino Community Foundation’s Chernyak.
“We want change. Change means higher wages; change means access to high quality education, no matter where they come from; change means relief for people who lost everything in 2020,” Chernyak told SF Gate. “I think if anyone can rise from the ashes, it’s the Latino community. They’re going to rebuild this state.”
Also, you can take a personal step to ensure the safety of our communities.
See and share our Salud America! “Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19” digital communication campaign in English or Spanish to help Latino families and workers take action to slow the spread of coronavirus, including getting the vaccine when available.-
The #JuntosStopCovid campaign features culturally relevant fact sheets, infographics, and video role model stories to encourage Latinos to change their public health behaviors.
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