Back to School with NMIC

Dear Friends,

Typically, around this time, we email you to help us fill backpacks full of school supplies for our families as their children head back to school. This year is different. As many reports have confirmed, parents and guardians in our area were disproportionately affected, and are still struggling to recover from, the financial and health impacts of COVID-19. As such, we’re asking you to help our families access critical services that will ease some burdens of being a low-income school parent in 2020.  Donate

As an underserved minority community, our clients are facing a staggering number of obstacles like food insecurity and the inability to pay rent due to job loss. They represent both a growing population of unemployed New Yorkers and the essential workers braving COVID every day. On top of needing to help their children navigate digital and remote learning, they’re also facing lack of access to mental health services, immigration concerns, and food and housing insecurity. Yet despite all of these institutional barriers our community continues to persevere. Your help will support them continue on their journey to healing and self-empowerment.

Your donation will secure much-needed resources to hardworking NYC families.

$40 purchases 12 meals  

$75 provides a mental health screening  

$150 helps a family access crucial public assistance like food, housing, and health care benefits 

Donate today. You can increase your impact by forwarding this email to loved ones and resharing our Back-to-School social media posts on your timeline or story on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Despite facing disproportionate levels of food, housing, and income insecurity, NMIC continues to fight alongside our community members for a better tomorrow. Join us.Help us raise $5,000 by October 1.

Yours in gratitude,

August Notes from NMIC

Hi there,

We hope this edition of Notes from NMIC brings you hope. Sometimes the current state of the world may seem overwhelming, but know that NMIC is working hard to support you and our community during these trying times.

In this newsletter: 

  • An 86-year-old community member didn’t let a little thing like technology stop her from getting the health care she needed.
  • 14 NMIC students graduated with their High School Equivalency amid a global pandemic.
  • Our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, tackles racism in the philanthropic community.


Elders during COVID-19: Meet Carolina 

For our elderly community, this pandemic has been a profoundly confusing and traumatic time. Our Community Health Worker (CHW) team is there to help guide them, and today we’re so excited to share Carolina’s* story!

Carolina is an 86-year-old participant in our CHW program and receives outreach calls for individual emotional and health care support. During one of these calls, Carolina shared that she had multiple upcoming doctor appointments she was afraid would be canceled or postponed. Despite having a smartphone, she wasn’t sure how to use it to resolve this problem. Our Community health worker encouraged her to use the tools already at her disposal: her family. Together, they got on a three-way call with Carolina’s daughter, who lives in Georgia, and completed her MyChart enrollment. Carolina now knows to access medical information from her phone and that she can rely on her daughter and us to help her through technical difficulties. She’s scheduled a few virtual doctor visits with the added security of knowing she has the tools to manage her health care through these turbulent times.

 *Name changed to protect privacy.  

Join us in congratulating our graduates

We are proud to announce the graduation of fourteen of our students from our High School Equivalency program. Our Director of Education & Career Services, Sara Chapman, drove home the incredible victory that graduating amid a global pandemic represents. Our keynote speaker, Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa, further highlighted our students’ resilience and congratulated our grads for prioritizing their education amidst this crisis.   

As students received their diplomas, they took a moment to express their gratitude and thank their support networks. Ivanna Diaz’s acceptance speech truly captured the mood of not just our graduates, but all of us living through this pandemic: “There were up and down moments. Crying moments. Give up moments. But you never gave up on me.” Our graduates are entering a difficult job market better equipped to compete. Our students’ courage inspires us, and just like giving up in the face of all this uncertainty wasn’t an option for them, it wasn’t one for us either. Together, we fought to ensure theirs would not become dreams deferred or forgotten. NMIC and our Education & Career Services team will continue to support our students by providing Professional Development and Career Placement services. You can support them on their journey to self-sufficiency by making a donation today. 

How we’re fighting for equity in philanthropy

Our commitment to racial justice spans all areas of our work. From our staffing to our board, we ensure that our community is fully represented in everything we do. Our very own Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, was a panelist on the webinar hosted by LAPA Fundraising titled Racism, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector. Maria highlighted the need to remove implicit biases from philanthropic practices. Often, community-based organizations do not have the privilege, resources, or connections to network with foundations for charitable funds. This creates a financial disadvantage. Maria called for equitable distribution of funds and urged all to look at the racial and cultural composition of their boards and staff. She had this to say: “For us, it’s really essential to have our community voices at our table. We can’t empower communities if they’re not at the table telling us what they need and how they want things done.” This level of community embedment is a critical part of building trust. At NMIC, we pride ourselves in being an organization that involves and serves our community members.

We’re thrilled to share a bit of our joy in your inbox today. If you’d like to continue to help us spread that, consider joining our Be the Light Campaign. Your donations enable us to provide services and funds to our community members as they strive to survive and thrive through this crisis.


Yours in Solidarity,

May Notes from NMIC

Hi there,

We’re hoping this email finds you safe. If you missed our last newsletter, please make sure you read our statement in support of our Black community, here. Today, we’re sharing how NMIC is providing services to our clients, who represent both essential workers forced to brave COVID-19 to provide for their families, and those affected most by recent waves of lay-offs and unemployment. They are immigrants, domestic violence survivors, single parents raising children while dealing with housing insecurity, and home health aides caring for our community’s elders amid a pandemic. Their resilient spirits have carried them through many obstacles, and we’re here to make sure they don’t have to do it alone! 

In this update, learn how: 

  • You’ve helped us raise over $20,000 to provide emergency assistance 
  • We’re providing remote services to our clients and larger community 
  • We’re ensuring the future safety of our community with Census advocacy

Bringing change through emergency funds

Because of your support, we’ve raised over $20,000 for our COVID-19 Emergency Fund. On #GivingTuesdayNow alone, we raised over $2,500, which was matched by our generous Board of Directors! These funds are reserved for direct client assistance such as helping community members cover burial costs and assisting those left out of governmental financial relief plans. In case you missed it and still want to give, you can do so by clicking the button below!

Donate now

Distant, but together!

Though our offices remain closed, in record time, we’ve launched a hotline to provide those who live in Upper Manhattan and the Southwest Bronx with assistance and advice related to their housing, immigration, and unemployment benefits needs. We’ve also used our social media to hold frequent live videos covering everything from information on the Census to housing rights and benefits access during this pandemic. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see!

Check out one of our past lives

Getting counted keeps us all safe in the future.

The Census is a source of confusion and anxiety for many of our community members, particularly those who are undocumented and unsure of how the captured information will affect their immigration status. Enter coronavirus, and it’s even more frightening. If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it is that without getting counted, we can’t hope to get the services we need. The current lack of hospital beds and facilities can’t be fixed without a concrete idea of how many people live in specific neighborhoods. So, we’ve continued our text and phone banking and social media advocacy.Check out one of our past Census videos

We also want to express our gratitude for your unwavering support of our organization and community. You’ve allowed us to to reach those who are most vulnerable living on the margins, and we are eternally grateful.

Yours in Solidarity,


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.


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.


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,, follow us on social media @NMICnyc, email us at, 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

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,

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,

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