Administrator

#GivingTuesdayNow

Dear Friends,

This #GivingTuesdayNow, our Board of Directors has pledged to match all donations (of up to $5,000) for NMIC’s COVID-19 Emergency Response FundIf you donate now, your gift will have double the impact!    

Over the last eight weeks, we have worked tirelessly to bring forth a remote service model. Our mission, to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of the people in our community on their paths to secure and prosperous futures, could not ring truer during these very challenging times.  

We need your support! 

Your donation today will help our community members access financial relief, understand and access unemployment benefits available to them, and enhance advocacy efforts for extended rebuilding plans.  

If it’s within your reach, please consider donating today to support NMIC’s Emergency Response Fund.

In solidarity,

Maria Lizardo, LMSW
Executive Director

P.S. Let’s make it count, donate today.

Double Your Impact

Dear Friends,

As our community continues to deal with a global health and economic crisis, #GivingTuesday, the groundbreaking global generosity movement, announced they are hosting a day of global giving. #GivingTuesdayNow is an emergency response to the enormous need caused by COVID-19. We are asking you to join us in extending kindness to those who need it most, in a way accessible to you, like calling your neighbors, Zoom-ing with your family, and supporting a local nonprofit. 

NMIC is responding to this pandemic the only way we know how – by continuing to serve clients in the areas they need us most. And, over the last four decades, NMIC has met the changing needs of our community. 

Our staff has continued to provide many of our essential services remotely through our newly developed hotlines in the areas of immigration, housing, unemployment benefits, and benefits assistance. We are servicing students via remote learning and providing support to those experiencing inter-partner violence. 

We are advocating and coordinating efforts for the need to fill the gaps in existing financial relief plans, like for immigrants left out of the federal stimulus support. We are needed in more ways than we can count. And with your support, we can extend our reach

Our generous Board of Directors has responded by pledging to match all donations dollar for dollar (of up to $5,000). That means your donation will have DOUBLE the impact!

Your support will ensure that NMIC has programmatic flexibility to deliver critical services that meet our community’s immediate crisis.

We need your help now more than ever. 

In gratitude always,

Maria Lizardo, LMSW
Executive Director

P.S. We need your help to match every donation. Give now.

Let’s Build Together

Dear Friends,

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we at NMIC have found ourselves having to quickly create new structures to support our clients in these troubling times. Our clients already live well below the poverty line, and now they are facing one of the largest disruption of their lives.

WHAT WE’VE DONE:

Despite not being able to provide services from our offices, NMIC staff members are addressing immediate crisis. We’re helping clients access unemployment benefits, providing immigration and housing advice, and connecting them to benefits and finance resources to address food and resource insecurity. We’re also providing services to address increased mental health needs. We even launched a hotline for community members living in Upper Manhattan and the Southwest Bronx to address many of the issues we named above. 

It is critical for us, that in this time of chaos, to represent stability, hope, and a path forward for our community members. That’s where you come in.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our COVID-19 Emergency Fund gives us the flexibility to adapt our approach to our community’s needs. Donations made to the emergency fund will be used to address unexpected needs relating to COVID-19. Most recently it has been in the form of alleviating the heartbreak of losing loved ones by helping with burial expenses. With your support, whatever the need is, we’ll be able to address it. 

We are still here. We are our clients’ link to the resources they need. Hearing a friendly voice during times of social distancing makes a big difference. Undoubtedly, we will experience loss together, but we will build together like we have done so many times before. Trust is the intangible force that bind us together. 

Support us now, we are all counting on each other to make it through. Giveto connect. 

Donate now

In Community,

Maria Lizardo, LMSW
Executive Director

Make an online gift today.

COVID Update

Dear Members of the NMIC Community,

NMIC remains committed to our mission and communities while following all guidance given to us from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the New York State Department of Health. We are in communication with City and State agencies as we continue to monitor public health and safety conditions. 

Like you, we are concerned about keeping our community and ourselves safe from the spread of the novel COVID-19 (coronavirus). As of Monday, March 16, 2020, we are taking the precaution of suspending on-site programming and implementing a remote work model of modified service delivery.

I want to reassure you that we have developed safety plans for our staff and created safety nets for our clients experiencing immediate service needs. If the City suspends individual services, we will follow instructions while helping our clients navigate the process. This is unprecedented for us, you, and our community partners. 

We will maintain immediate and open communication with our staff, clients, funders, supporters, and elected officials. 

I want to encourage you all to take good care of your health and well-being, to stay informed of the latest facts, and to seek and give support to others around you and in our community.

For up to date information, please visit our website, www.nmic.org, follow us on social media @NMICnyc, email us at info@nmic.org, or call us at 212-822-8300. 

Yours in solidarity,

Maria Lizardo, MSW
Executive Director

Event Cancellation

Dear Members of the NMIC Community,

I write today to let you know that the New York Celebrates Women event to be held on Sunday, March 15, 2020 from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM at the Harmonie Club has been cancelled out of an abundance of precaution for our community’s wellbeing. New York is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and guidance/updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the New York State Department of Health. NMIC is taking preventative measures to ensure the safety of our attendees.

Here at NMIC, we celebrate women and our accomplishments all year. We hope to get the opportunity to celebrate with you at a future event. You will receive a full refund for the value of the ticket purchased.

Many thanks for your understanding and support. If you need immediate assistance, please email Rosanna Montilla-Payano at rosannamontilla@nmic.org.

Yours in Solidarity,

Maria Lizardo, MSW
Executive Director

We’re Turning Resolutions into Action Plans

  Hey there,

We’re already three weeks into January, and after a well-deserved holiday break, we’re back to work! In this New Year’s themed newsletter, we’ll tell you about:

  • Our New Year’s resolution: to fundraise more.
  • Our new board chair, Juan A. Arteaga.
  • Our most recent High School Equivalency graduation.

We’re turning New Year’s resolutions into Action Plans

Last year was a whirlwind and we got so much done! One thing we dropped the ball a bit on was fundraising. We didn’t get as many donations as we wanted. Our supporters help us continue to provide our community with FREE housing, health, and education/career assistance.

Today, we’re putting our resolution to fundraise more into action. This month, we have a goal of just $1,000. A one-time donation, or even better, a monthly one, can have more impact than you know. Not only will your gift today put us on track to smashing our 2020 goals, but it will also help the people we serve.

You  can be the reason 2020 is a great year for one of our clients. You can support them as they finally get their High School Equivalency diplomas, leave abusive relationships, or become U.S. citizens.

If your resolution this year is to do more good, consider becoming a member of our Spark Collective. Just $40 a month can make a massive difference in the lives of our community members. If you can’t commit to that, just $5 to $10 today from ten or twenty of you can help us reach this month’s fundraising goal.

New Year, New Board Chair 

Please join us in thanking our former NMIC Board Chair, Sandra Harris, for her five years of service in the role. During her term, Sandra brought to NMIC the same energy and determination that has characterized her career and position as Assistant Vice President of Government & Community Affairs at Columbia University Medical Center. Though Sandra will no longer be our Board Chair, we are so happy she will remain a member of the board.

Sandra, your years of service to our community and organization have been incredible. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Now, join us in welcoming our new NMIC chair, Juan A. Arteaga. Like his predecessor, Juan is known for his commitment to our community. He has served on NMIC’s board since 2018 and brings years of valuable experience to the table. He’s currently a partner at Crowell and Moring LLP and previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Enforcement in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama administration. He also served as the Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division.

¡Bienvenido, Juan! We look forward to growing under your leadership. ¡Manos a la obra!

We also want to take a moment to congratulate the other board members voted onto the Executive Committee, including Cheryl Kallem, Vice-chair; Ethan Miller, Treasurer; and Evelyn De La Rosa, Secretary.

Congratulations to our latest grads

Join us in wishing good luck to our most recent cohort of High School Equivalency graduates. After completing NMIC’s course, they received their diplomas in a beautiful, intimate ceremony. But their journeys aren’t over yet! Our dedicated Education & Career Services team will continue to offer participants the support they need to succeed. Whether it be employment readiness and placement assistance or college enrollment, we’re here to help our community members achieve all their goals.

For our clients, this achievement is a step towards higher-paying jobs, increased employment opportunities, and for some, access to higher education. We think that’s a pretty fantastic way to kick off 2020.

Many of our students face innumerable challenges in their day-to-day lives, like immigration issues, domestic violence, or homelessness. These diplomas aren’t just about academic success. They’re testaments to how hardworking, determined, and strong our students are. You can help us continue to connect our clients with the services they need for brighter and more self-sufficient futures.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

December Notes from NMIC

Hi there,

The end of the year is only a couple of weeks away and in keeping with that spirit we’ve decided to make this year’s last Notes from NMIC celebratory! We’re highlighting you (our incredible supporters) and members of NMIC staff who have been hard at work to make our community stronger and healthier! Too busy to read right now? Check out the highlights below until you can read the full stories.

  • Because of your generous support, we’ve raised $500 in just two weeks, but need to raise $4,500 more by December 31st. Donate now.
  • NMIC and staff attorney Matthew Chachere have been hard at work making sure the injustice of lead poisoning doesn’t remain hidden. We’ve been all over the news!
  • Our Education & Career Services Department works hard to create a learning environment that’s responsive to our clients’ needs. They provide students with free care packages of frequently requested items.

We have $4,500 left to raise by December 31st.

Earlier this month, we set a goal of raising $5,000 for our much-needed services. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve made a dent in that number, but we still have a ways to go. This holiday season, your donations mean everything to our clients who turn to us for support with housing crises, domestic violence, access to healthcare, and career support. Together, we help these resilient individuals on their paths towards self-sufficiency. Can you pledge $25 or more today?

Your contributions support families battling eviction this New Year’s, neighbors working towards their high school equivalency diplomas, and more of the critical work NMIC does. Once you make your donation, increase your impact by encouraging your loved ones to make a donation as well.

NMIC is keeping lead poisoning in the news 

Far too often, our communities bear the brunt of negligence in silence. Thanks to the tireless work of our very own staff attorney, Matthew Chachere, NMIC has kept lead poisoning in the news these past few weeks. He has been busy authoring papers about lead poisoning and providing testimony about the lack of punishment for those who expose tenants to lead. You can read more about it here, here and here.

Today, children and low-income families, in particular, continue to be subjected to lead poisoning and its damaging health effects with relative impunity. For years, Matthew has advocated for (and achieved!) lead reform to protect our families from lead exposure at home and in our schools. While he focuses on helping families in our community, his legislative advocacy benefits low-income children throughout NYC.

Dedicated NMIC staff goes above and beyond

We want to highlight our Education & Career Services Department for going above and beyond in their support of our clients! For our clients, and any student, access to sanitary products can make a real academic difference. So our team puts together these care packages, including items clients often ask for, like hand sanitizer, sanitary napkins, and tampons. It is because of the care and attention our clients receive from our staff that NMIC has become a neighborhood institution.

As if providing free classes and trainings that set community members on their paths towards fulfilling their academic and career goals weren’t enough. Not all superheroes wear capes, some make care packages.

You can support our clients as they strive for better futures for themselves and their families.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

Help us raise $5000 for our critical services

Hi there,

Giving Tuesday has arrived, and we have so much to be thankful for. Over the last few weeks, we’ve shared stories from our community with the hope they would stir you to support our efforts to catalyze positive change. Collecting these stories has allowed us to reflect on the past year and take stock of the many things we’ve accomplished.

Last week, you met Fred Arcoleo, the local artist who has been a loyal client (through sickness and in health) of our first worker coop, Ecomundo. We told you how NMIC is putting collective power into community hands through programs like our worker cooperatives.  

We introduced you to Eugenia, who came to us looking to improve her career and left happily employed. You learned how our education and career services are helping people on the path to self-sufficiency by providing them with the tools to improve their careers. 

We told you about the Cruzes, the disabled family of four who came to us from a shelter. We connected them with expert legal advice in housing and immigration issues, and to healthcare and a food pantry. Our capacity to address several urgent client needs under one roof is what makes us a cornerstone of our community.  

This Giving Tuesday help us raise $5000 for these critical services. With today’s donation you make it possible for us to provide free services that help community members resolve their crises and achieve their goals. Thank you for all you do to support our work.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

We are putting power back into collective community hands.

Hi there,

At NMIC, we often talk about how much pride we take in building futures, changing lives, and empowering communities. That’s because these are more than words for us. We don’t just offer free services; we’re providing our clients with the resources and opportunities they need to reach their full potential as community assets. 

This is why when you donate to NMIC you’re actually investing in our community members—and they go on to strengthen our neighborhoods.

These past two weeks, we’ve shared our client’s stories  here  and  here. Today, we’re doing something different. Meet Fred Arcoleo. He’s not a client of  ours, he’s a client of our first worker coop, Ecomundo.  

Fred has lived in Washington Heights for 22 years. He is a teacher at a local high school, an artist, and a loyal customer of Ecomundo Cleaning. Some time ago, Fred became ill and was no longer able to clean his own apartment. He remembered his friend Jennifer, a former NMIC staff member, telling him about a worker-owned small business she had helped get started through her work with us. Intrigued by the idea of a small worker-owned cooperative where the owners shared their profits with each other, he booked a session.  

It was a “saving grace. Really, they saved me,” Fred told us. Working with a coop was a completely different experience. By making the business model communal, the dynamic among the workers and between them and Fred was unlike anything he’d ever experienced. “It’s a beautiful thing, I love how they operate. Our whole society should be more like this.”  

Fred has since gotten better and was married last year. He still books Ecomundo to clean his apartment despite the added expense because he feels it brings a bit of equity to the neighborhood. He’s built a rapport with the worker-owners who clean his home and is continuously amazed by their “outstanding work ethic” and partnership. His wife, a former cleaner herself, is meticulous with high standards for cleanliness. He says, even she thinks Ecomundo’s work is done thoroughly.  

What makes Ecomundo Cleaning so special? For one, it’s a small green cleaning business entirely owned by its members. More than half are survivors of domestic violence, many of whom were referred by our Domestic Violence Project. Others came to Ecomundo through other NMIC programs or organizations throughout the city. You can book their services here.  

We are proud of how far Ecomundo has come since its founding in 2012. Last year, they booked $550,000 in revenue which provided a living wage for all 18 member-owners. Together, they’ll reinvest money to grow their business. These investments will translate into more profit in the future! 

NMIC is putting power back into collective community hands. By providing these innovative tools, we are helping our clients break cycles of violence and poverty. It wouldn’t be possible without your support.  

Help us bring equity to our community.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

Meet Eugenia. She was recently hired because of you.

Hi There,

It’s the end of the year, and everyone from the charity next door to your own family is hitting you up for money. We could tell you we have been serving our community for 40 years, that we served 14,000 people and got them over $14 million in cash benefits last year.  

But we’re not going to do that.  

Instead, we’ll let our clients’ stories speak for themselves. We hope, after reading how NMIC has changed their lives, you’ll feel inspired to support them by donating today.  

Last week, we introduced you to the Cruz family (if you missed it, you can see it here). Today, meet Eugenia Nuñez.

EUGENIA’S STORY 

2019 was going to be Eugenia Nuñez’s year. The 20-year resident of Inwood had been working as a home health aide since 1995 and was ready for a change. Wanting to put her compassion and people skills to work, she completed a course at Lehman College to be a medical assistant. But her English felt like a barrier that kept her from advancing her career. Inspired by encounters with a growing number of professionals who spoke less English than she did, Eugenia decided to “go for it.”  

Eugenia first came to NMIC looking for help updating her resume. Our Education & Career Services staff enrolled her into Jobs to Build On and connected her with one of our Career Solutions Managers to assist in her job search.  

Later, Eugenia returned to NMIC with her mother, who needed assistance with an immigration issue, and saw something on the wall that would change her life.  

The flyer was for an Intro to Healthcare Opportunity event, a partnership between the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) and the 1199SEIU union to connect upper Manhattan residents with union employment.  

After years of unsuccessful applications with 1199 that never resulted in a call-back, Eugenia attended NMIC’s event. There, she was referred to 1199’s Employment Center and sent to interview with two major hospitals.  

Finally, success. 

Her interview with a department head at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Lower Manhattan Hospital went better than she’d imagined possible. “Right away we had a connection, and he said, ‘I got you, Eugenia.'”  

Eugenia started a part-time housekeeping position in the hospital’s Environmental Services department in September. She plans to work her way up the ladder and become a medical assistant. 

“You guys made the whole connection.”  

We may have made the connection, but Eugenia sealed the deal. She’s currently happy at her new job and says they may offer her a permanent, full-time role soon.  

NMIC is more than the services we offer our clients; we are an institution that signifies hope, opportunity, and empowerment for our community. Together, we are capable of changing lives right now. Tell Eugenia, and others like her, that you got them.

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

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