Express Yourself: Please, Don’t Forget Us — The ongoing struggles from our immigrant community through the pandemic

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By Luis Fernando Anguiano Quiroz
Special to the Express

This is a letter with a simple plea, for those who seek to build a just & equitable future: please don’t forget our immigrant community.

As COVID-19 cases began to appear in Yolo County mid-March 2020 and some people had the privilege to work from home, the immigrant community in Yolo County — who had already been struggling to stay afloat before the pandemic — saw an uphill battle that is yet to resolve.

However, I saw Yolo County, and more personally the Davis community, mobilize to help ensure immigrant families could stay housed and safe. Many like me went to the Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network (YIIN) and its program The ApoYolo Project (otherwise known as ApoYolo) who, through donations, grants and volunteering, helped families impacted by COVID stay afloat through the worst.

Through your donations and volunteering YIIN has helped our immigrant community from before the pandemic, through funding local Migrant Centers & their Youth Care programs and helping migrant families remain stable. And by funding ApoYolo we covered 25 percent of the rents for 65 Spanish-speaking families in Yolo County for several months, connected them with local organizations like Empower Yolo and the Yolo Food Bank, & even delivered food to them if a family member had COVID. It was a ray of hope during such an exhausting past few years.

As yet another fire is lit in our lives with the events unfolding in Ukraine, many have been emotionally stretched; we at YIIN and ApoYolo have faced similar challenges. But the work to help immigrant families in Yolo County continues and we know that our support is still very necessary. COVID continues to affect the most vulnerable in our communities and protections that kept many houses are being slowly phased out.

It is with a heavy heart I ask you all to please remember us and help us once more. If you want to get involved for the first time or once again, we are always looking for volunteers at YIIN and ApoYolo. Or if you are overwhelmed and cannot volunteer, check out our website YIINYolo.org for ways to donate. Donations are a great way to support our work — any bit counts.

Remember you make a difference to immigrants. Crisis overseas and at home are a call to act on behalf of vulnerable people. So, please, don’t forget us.

Luis Fernando Anguiano Quiroz is the Project Manager at The ApoYolo Project.

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