Organizations and donors unite to help families in need because of COVID-19
Until a few weeks ago Evelyn Amaral, 18, was focused on her studies and eagerly awaited graduating from high school.
However, the unexpected closure of classes and later the order to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic caused a complete change in her life.
The young woman said that with the passing of days the family is becoming unprotected since their savings are disappearing.
"My dad is a gardener and they cut his hours because people no longer want him to go home and since it has also been raining that affects him," said Amaral, who lives with his parents and four brothers.
The student said that before the pandemic, the family spent around $ 150 a week on food but now they pay more since basic foods are more expensive.
"Before, my parents only cared about food for us only twice a day, now it is much more," Amaral said, assuring that everyone they can go to pick up the food that their school offers for free.
"In the morning we go and get the food from the school and that helps a lot," he added.
Help in times of crisis
The young woman pointed out that thanks to a local organization in South Los Angeles, where the whole family participates, they managed to obtain financial aid to be able to buy food and support themselves for a few more days.
United Parents and Students identified the Amaral family as needy and received a $ 200 gift card through One Family LA, a fundraising effort to help families financially affected by COVID-19 to meet their basic needs.
The initiative is possible thanks to the union of more than 30 non-profit organizations and donors.
"When the pandemic started, we never imagined that it would be so big," said the young woman. "But it is very nice to see that from something ugly people come to want to help the organizations that help us."
Ana Ponce, representative for One Family LA, said that after the announcement of the closure of schools they saw the need for families who were becoming unemployed and with children at home.
"There were many families who went to the stores to buy many things, but there were also many who could not buy anything due to lack of money," he explained.
Aid comes through donations from hundreds of Los Angeles individuals and some foundations.
In two weeks they have already managed to distribute more than half a million dollars so that families can buy food, pay their rent, pay for their gasoline.
"Aid is given depending on the unique case of each family," said Ponce.
"There are families that make it easier for them to receive a prepaid card, others a payment by Venmo, or some who want us to help them pay their bills."
However, Ponce stressed that where there is the greatest need is in monetary aid for food and to pay the rent.
Families eligible for this relief fund must live within the perimeter of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and have a child who attends any grade from prekindergarten through twelfth grade.
The representative of One Family LA stated that the need of the families will be long-term and they will offer the help through the 30 non-profit organizations that participate.
"We know that the coronavirus pandemic is going to go away but the pandemic of poverty will continue for a longer time," he stressed.
To find out if you qualify for One Family LA help send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like to donate to the fund you can visit: https://www.onefamilyla.com/