Since the onset of the pandemic, our Club has undertaken a number of COVID relief projects.  As part of "Project Hope-1"  Club Members have been helping a widow and her two young sons in the Bronx meet their ongoing subsistence needs.  Three Club members pooled their resources and began providing monthly assistance to the family for food and essentials.   These members have pledged to continue their contribution for the near future.  They are looking into ways to assist the family in creating a sustainable revenue stream so they do not become continually reliant on this assistance.
 
And a few days ago at the onset of Ramadan, the Club initiated "Project Hope-2" to assist a new immigrant mother of three young children when her husband passed away very recently from COVID.  Club members rallied to her rescue by providing immediate assistance for day-to-day needs.  Other Club members are assisting the family in applying for any government relief she and her children may be entitled to.
 
Job loss, business closures, and food insecurity are bearing down on immigrant communities, creating untenable pressure inside households that are often crowded with more than one family and facing pressures to keep up with rent payments, utility bills, and basic needs. At the same time, parents who lack English language skills and the technology needed for remote learning are struggling to find the time and space to help their children complete assignments. And many immigrant students are tasked with caring for younger siblings or relatives while their parents go to work on the front lines of the pandemic
 
Multiple organizations report that as much as 75 percent of their clients are going hungry. Yet despite the mass-scale unemployment hitting the area’s immigrants, they have been almost entirely shut out of federal cash relief. Several of the nonprofit organizations surveyed said 95 to 100 percent of their immigrant clients have not received or are ineligible for the IRS stimulus checks.
 
Meanwhile, the pandemic has laid bare existing struggles with language and technology access for the city’s immigrants, which created barriers in access to care such as telemedicine and crisis hotlines. Those issues extend to families who have undertaken remote learning for their children. For undocumented immigrants, the city’s lowest earners despite high participation in the labor force, unemployment can be uniquely devastating, extending to tolls on physical and mental health.
 
Our projects aim not only to assist one or more families but also to create engagement among our members so they feel energized to come out and provide any assistance they can.  These are our Rotarians in Action, providing Service Above Self. If any member is interested in joining in this project, please contact Rahat Hossain (Membership Engagement Chair).
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