Image by Kim Dinh courtesy of Justseeds.

As this extraordinary and challenging year comes to a close, we have some important updates about Proyecto Faro’s recent progress, including a change in how our donations are processed. As you plan your end of the year giving, please note this big change!

When reflecting on 2020– with its presidential election, global pandemic, economic crisis, nation-wide racial justice uprisings, and continued attacks on immigrant rights–we are moved by the resilience and compassion Rockland immigrants and their allies have demonstrated as they’ve shown up for each other during these difficult days.  And we are proud of the many things Proyecto Faro has achieved during this very tough year, including increasing our Director Charo Urēna’s hours, along with adding a part-time Legal Clinic Coordinator Angie Mazariego and Community Outreach Coordinator Kate Juárez Morelos. We hope this update will inspire your continued support.

At the beginning of the year, we took a delegation to the Keep Tucson Together clinic in Arizona. This group brought back ideas, energy, and a deeper understanding of how we can strengthen our own legal clinic. Given the outgoing administration’s dismantling of asylum protections we only felt the urgency of this work more. So, when social distancing and widespread video conferencing were still new, we quickly moved our clinic to Zoom, ensuring undocumented people could still find support and have their questions answered.

Immigrants, who make up a huge proportion of essential workers, have been extremely hard hit by the pandemic. In addition to many losses, including the heart-breaking passing of one of our own founding members, Benny Reyes, an enormous number of Rockland’s immigrant families have lost housing and income and have become food-insecure. Because so many of these neighbors are undocumented, they are ineligible for services and benefits. Therefore, we immediately organized a food relief program and have been feeding hundreds of families for months. In these distressing times, we have been heartened by the spirit of solidarity and mutual aid animating our volunteers and allies who have helped secure and distribute food. Your support allows us to continue this vitally important work.  

As our base-building work through the clinic and food program has progressed, we’ve strengthened other organizing and coalition efforts. With Union de Padres de ERSCD and the Family Resource Center, we’re organizing immigrant parents in East Ramapo to ensure their children get the resources they need to learn. Rockland Jews for Immigrant Justice, which dedicated itself to supporting our work, invited us to speak online to a number of its members’ congregations, and has been collecting food and clothing for undocumented families and fundraising for our programs. We also held a virtual Women’s March in October with the participation and co-sponsorship of twelve organizations.

While we are dismayed by ongoing ICE raids and deportations, failure to reunite immigrant children with their families, and policies of cruelty against detained immigrants, we deepen our resolve and are encouraged each day by the growing bonds of care and empathy between and among our undocumented neighbors and allies. Because we have our sights set on justice, we are fortifying ourselves for the big work ahead and are very pleased to announce we have formed our own New York State not-for-profit corporation and applied for a determination of our 501(c)(3) status.

In addition to being a major accomplishment, this news means, going forward, we will receive donations directly, rather than through New Hempstead Presbyterian Church (NHPC). If and when 501(c)(3) status is approved, all charitable contributions made to Proyecto Faro will be tax deductible.  For those who wish to make a tax deductible donation before the end of 2020, please donate to NHPC using the box for Proyecto Faro (Here). If tax deduction for this calendar year is not needed, or you are making your donation in 2021, please make your gift to PF directlyThank you so much for attending to these details, and please make a generous donation now to help Proyecto Faro build on these successes in the coming year! 

If you are able to make a recurring gift, these contributions help us with planning. If you have been giving a recurring donation through NHPC, please resubmit your pledge in the new year to PF here. Thank you so much for being a part of this work!