APEN members at an International Women’s Day celebration in Oakland Chinatown, February 2020
Two months ago, as the shelter-in-place order first went into effect, we asked you to stand with our working-class immigrant and refugee communities by donating to our COVID-19 Emergency Community Stabilization Fund.
Your response was beyond what we imagined. In just one week, we raised over $30,000 to provide basic needs for families struggling to make ends meet during this crisis. Since then, we have continued to receive thousands of dollars in donations to support the fund as well as our critical grassroots organizing work.
Floored by the generosity of our community, we moved quickly to distribute these funds to those who need them. By the end of this month, your donations will have made it possible for us to distribute over $64,000 to over 100 Bay Area working-class immigrant and refugee families.
It has been such an honor to offer this bit of relief to our community in these trying times. We have been able to provide individuals from $150-$500 and households up to $1000 to help with rent, groceries, medical expenses and more.
It’s been so sweet for our organizers to connect with our community in this way and deliver the funds. Our operations and finance team have also contributed so much behind the scenes: from tracking requests and designing the best protocols for management and distribution of the fund to making sure that the money is accessible to our community and designing a no-touch delivery process.
In a crisis like this, we must support our communities with direct aid while fighting for the structural changes that will protect all of us. That is why we have also been leading eviction moratorium campaigns, supporting expanding workers rights, and running phone and text programs to check in on our communities and connect them to crucial resources.
We know that collaboration and collective care is what will get us through these hard times. And it is through projects like the COVID-19 Emergency Community Stabilization Fund that we are laying the groundwork for a just recovery from this pandemic.
In the coming weeks, you will hear more from our APEN organizers about how to support this crucial work.
But for today, I want to make sure you know the difference your donations are making. Thanks to your generosity, we anticipate we will be able to reopen the fund application next month and make sure even more families are getting the resources they need.
Alvina Wong, APEN Campaigns & Organizing Director