Solidarity for the Holidays!
It’s been wonderful to have so many of you help with and participate in our mutual aid work. Your support has enabled us to have a year of tremendous activity and growth. In addition to acquiring our 501c3 status, we have expanded our staff, welcoming Maria Marasigan as Director of Organizing and Program Development, and Lenin Juarez as a Community Representative. We will soon have a bigger space at the Stony Point Center and we’ll be working with community members to farm there as part of our food sovereignty work. Rockland’s immigrants’ struggles continue and there is much work ahead so we hope you will include Proyecto Faro in your holiday giving.
Throughout the pandemic we have been steadily distributing food boxes to 200 immigrant families each month. However, there’s still a great deal of food insecurity in our immigrant communities and we plan to expand our food distribution to an additional 100 immigrant families in Spring Valley. We will soon be able to transport and receive food from local food banks and are proud to be getting fresh produce from our friends at Freedom Farm and TOUCH.
In addition to school supplies, your donations to PF’s community fridge and free store, at which we pass along previously loved clothing and household items, have made a huge difference to many immigrant families. And you will soon see other fridges popping up in the county! Here’s how they work: with a “take what you need, leave what you can” motto, anyone who needs food can access these fridges for free and any who have the means can fill the fridges with fresh food or donate funds for us to do so.
We have been providing technical assistance to dozens of immigrants applying to the NY state Excluded Workers Fund. Although the fund was depleted and closed in December, we are continuing to do follow-up support with these applicants. We’re also working with a coalition to push for an additional $3 billion dollars to reopen this fund and bring economic relief to the many who, because of their immigration status, have yet to receive any stimulus or unemployment funds. Please be in touch with your NY state representatives to urge them to reopen this fund. (Learn more.)
There are a great many obstacles to children of color in East Ramapo schools receiving adequate education, a situation which has only been exacerbated during the COVID19 pandemic. We’ve been involved in organizing with immigrant parents and students as they push for educational justice and our team is planning a community organizing training in the spring. We are also hosting weekly “Your Voice Counts” meetings in Spanish, Creole, and English and regular Stakeholders Alliance meetings to streamline and strengthen work being done by different groups working for justice in the East Ramapo school district.
In our monthly legal empowerment clinic, we have supported dozens of immigrants to take an active role in managing their immigration cases, provided training on the Freedom of Information Act to volunteers, and trained two DACA recipients to return to the legal clinic to share their knowledge with others.
A generous donor made it possible for us to provide direct rent relief to 10 families and our Romero Housing Circle provided shelter and resources. Specifically, two amazing volunteers opened their home to get several unhoused immigrants off the street this year and supported some to rebuild their lives, find work, and housing.
Without the assistance of community-minded individuals like you we could not have built and grown these programs. A year of success is winding down but we are already gearing up for an even busier 2022. To continue doing the important work of organizing and facilitating mutual aid in our community, we rely on your generosity. And all donations make a difference, regardless of size. Will you strengthen Proyecto Faro’s efforts to mobilize Rockland’s immigrants and make a contribution today?
Thank you in advance for your support!