The Latinx nonprofit organization El Centro Hispano is raising money to help the Latinx and Hispanic communities in the Triangle who are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are a Latino nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the community, building bridges and advocating for equity and inclusion for Hispanics/Latinos in the Triangle Area,” Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, the organization's president and CEO, said.
She said in order to do just that, El Centro Hispano created a COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund a little under two weeks ago.
Rocha-Goldberg said they started the fund because the community has a lot of needs right now and they are looking to help fill those needs with the support of the fund. It would allow them to assist local families who are facing increased food uncertainty because of business closures, layoffs and lost pay.
To help during the pandemic, the organization has already donated food to a total of 246 people, including 107 children who are no longer receiving food from their school.
Rocha-Goldberg said El Centro Hispano is trying to partner with Latinx supermarkets and stores to support their businesses by buying food from them.
El Centro Hispano will start distributing the donations today after looking through applications. According to its website, the fund aims to support people who:
- Have or will lose income because of business closures
- Will have to stay home because of children
- Have family members who are at risk of getting sick with COVID-19
- Need help meeting any of their needs
Rocha-Goldberg said if they are able to collect more money, they could potentially help with people’s rent.
Carol Bono, a UNC alum, said she donated because she believes in the organization’s mission and vision.
“They support and have supported the Latinx community in the Triangle Area for nearly 30 years," she said. "As a Latina, I wanted to do my part and help them and my community in any way possible.”
Rocha-Goldberg said their original goal for the fund was $5,000. They have now raised over $7,000 from 53 people, so they set a new goal of $15,000.
“During dark times, people will always come together and help one another,” Bono said. “Our community has proven just that. There's strength in numbers and showing up for our community is what will carry us through this pandemic.”
El Centro Hispano’s offices remain open, but they are following the recommendations of the local governments and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services authorities for the well-being of the staff.
Along with helping with food insecurities, the organization is providing diapers for families in need of them through their Chapel Hill-Carrboro office, and El Centro Hispano is partnering with Llibott Consultorios Medicos to offer medical services to the community.
The organization’s website has a list of free resources to help the community during this time. The list will be updated as they learn about more resources, and information will be released through social media in both Spanish and English.
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