Today, we’re reaching out to ask for your help spreading the news about our back to school campaign.
This fall, millions of New Yorkers are getting ready for a back to school season unlike any we’ve seen before. For many in our community, this time of year has always been hard even before COVID-19.
Our clients are bravely facing this pandemic while raising children and fighting financial difficulties, domestic violence, housing insecurity, and immigration concerns. This year, with so many amazing organizations providing back-to-school supplies, we’re hoping you’ll help us raise $5,000 to support their other needs.
Your donation (and those from your network) enable our community members to focus on parenting instead of on the threat of eviction, where their next meal will come from, or how they’ll help their children navigate online learning when they don’t understand the language. Copy and share this link: http://bit.ly/NMICB2S, and help us raise funds to meet the level of unprecedented need in our community.
$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
Nothing has gone quite as expected this year, and back-to-school season is keeping to that trend. Thousands of New Yorkers are preparing for an uncertain school year and many of our community members are facing additional challenges made worse by the COVID pandemic. Thanks to your tireless work and that of our staff, leadership, and partners, NMIC has been able to rise to meet our community’s needs.
In this newsletter, you’ll learn about:
Why we’re raising $5,000 for direct services targeted towards low-income parents in our community
How culturally sensitive mental health services make a difference
When our Education & Career Services team will go back to school
How many families our Food Pantry has impacted
Parenting through a pandemic is challenging
The parents in Upper Manhattan and the South and West Bronx are very familiar with managing back to school amid crises. In the past, that crisis might have been domestic violence, housing insecurity, financial difficulties, immigration concerns, or a combination of them. Now, our clients are grappling with these crises and the many ways COVID-19 has exacerbated them to create new ones. Many ally organizations are rising to meet the need for school supplies. That’s why this back to school season, we’re raising $5,000 to help families address their other urgent needs, so they can get back to planning their school year. Donations of any amounts are welcomed.
$40 provides 12 meals.
$75 covers one mental health intake session.
$150 gives someone access to our benefits screening and application assistance.
We only have a few more weeks to meet our goal. Will you help us?Donate now
Fighting mental health stigma, one counseling session at a time
When Mario* requested remote counseling services from NMIC’s Connections to Care Program (C2C), he was dealing with pre-existing severe insomnia and anxiety made worse by the current health crisis. We provided him with mental health services delivered in Spanish and for the first time in 15 years Mario has been able to have a good night’s sleep.
Mario’s story reminds us that as collective trauma, COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone in different ways. For some, it has brought up old wounds, while others have never struggled this much with their mental health. This National Suicide Prevention Week, we thought we’d remember and remind you that:
Taking care of mental health is essential!
Asking for help doesn’t make you weak.
It’s OK to admit you can’t do something alone.
You don’t have to do it alone, even if you can.
Many of our clients struggle with access to mental health care. They are less likely to have financial resources to afford visits, it is more difficult to find providers that speak their language, and they need to work past cultural stigmas surrounding mental health care. Our C2C program makes ground-breaking impact because it addresses all those barriers and connects hundreds of people to care.
*Name has been changed to protect anonymity. Donate now
We’re going back to school
NMIC’s Education & Career Services team is going back to school! Please help us spread the news that we’re recruiting for our fall cycle of adult education courses. Our classes are completely free and offer flexible scheduling, including morning, evening, and self-paced lessons. We’re anticipating that classes will be totally remote but will keep you posted if in-person learning opportunities become available.
So, if you are (or know someone who is) a New York resident, at least 17-years-old, and want to:
Get your high school equivalency diploma (GED)
Learn or practice English
Prepare for your citizenship exam
We’ve got classes for you! Sheltering-in-place doesn’t have to be about “self-improvement,” but it can be. Jumpstart your new future. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 has brought a never-before-seen level of economic devastation to our community. With it came a need to address the growing food insecurity our clients are facing. Because of your support we have distributed over 30,000 lbs. of food to almost 600 different households. And, we’ve added additional pantry days to meet increased demand.
If you know anyone facing food insecurity, they can sign-up for our Food Pantry by using our request form in either English or Spanish. Advanced sign-up is required to keep our community safe.Donate now
Every family deserves safety and security. Thank you for helping us as we try to remove the barriers that keep the families in our community from achieving that.
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 Facebook, Twitter, 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
This #GivingTuesdayNow, our Board of Directors has pledged to match all donations (of up to $5,000) for NMIC’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. If 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.
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.
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.
I personally never thought I’d be writing a fundraising appeal in the middle of a world crisis. And yet, here we are. And because you and I know that the world, and our community, is better together, I felt the importance of reaching out to you.
How are you? Are you doing okay? We’re thinking of you!
As a donor, you are probably wondering what NMIC is doing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is exactly why I am reaching out to you today.
We are still serving our clients. We’ve moved our existing services online, so we’re offering classes through zoom, counseling by WhatsApp, and many of our other services using whatever technology is most accessible to our clients. We are also keeping our community informed through our social media pages and are about to launch a hotline to ensure people can get direct access to our services by phone.
We are continually watching for official updates. Whether it is from Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, or the CDC, we are staying on top of the information coming to us and abiding by their orders. Once we receive the information, our staff is evaluating what it means for clients, staff, volunteers, and the community; and creating or adjusting plans as quickly possible.
We will be here when this is all over. Like you, we aren’t sure what the full impact is going to be on our community, but we do know this – we will be needed now more than ever before.
Rest assured; your gifts continue to work during this time of uncertainty.
Until we see each other again, please take care of yourself, your families, and your friends.
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 email@example.com, or call us at 212-822-8300.