How Unidos is Inspiring Change Safely and Virtually in Our Community
Written by Annalisa Ciro
As we begin to adjust to our “new normal,” the Hopeloft network continues to search for innovative solutions, critical resources, and means of giving back to those in need in the safest and most accessible ways possible. Committed to this shared goal, our partner collaborative Unidos para la Familia has hit the ground running, shifting their services to online programs and connecting the community they serve with vital resources and information both safely and virtually.
Unidos is a nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen immigrant, working-class families by providing training and support to parents with the help of a dedicated team of Family Advocates. Their team provides a range of services—from educational advocacy to health and wellness—ultimately empowering the people they serve to reach their goals and build brighter futures for their families and others in their community.
Unidos remains true to their mission, no matter the circumstances. Not only have they virtually relocated a host of their services online (like their GED and ESL classes which are held via Zoom, or their upcoming instructional census video), but they are actively engaging with the people they serve while staying connected with the Mexican consulate to ensure that solutions are found for everyone in need during this financially and emotionally stressful time.
“Amidst all of the uncertainty with the coronavirus, the Unidos team has risen to the occasion to meet the needs of the families we serve and the community around us,” says Jonathan Cummings, Executive Director of Revive South Jersey, the lead organization for the Unidos para la Familia collaborative. “The teachers for our GED and ESL program have done an incredible job of innovating and modifying to ensure that students are able to continue with their education and have any technology needs met.”
The Unidos Family Advocates have been hard at work helping the community both on the job and on their own time by re-working budgets for families to aid them in adjusting to their new financial situation during the crisis; connecting families to food banks and other critical resources; helping families navigate employment needs; identifying families in need and helping with bills, groceries, and computers; and going out on their own time to provide food for neighbors and friends. The team will also be participating in a Giving Tuesday campaign on May 5th where they will choose 20-30 local families in need to whom they will deliver groceries.
“Because of the relationships and trust our advocates have built, they’ve been able to provide concrete help, resources, and encouragement to families facing difficult circumstances,” continues Jon. “Through adversity, we have seen our team and community come together stronger and determined to support one another now and in the days and weeks to come.”
Unidos has set a powerful example of how we can continue to work together during the most difficult times to create positive and lasting change in our community. We are grateful to work alongside such dedicated team players, and so lucky that they are a part of our Hopeloft family.
If you are interested in volunteering for Unidos, learn more on their website!