Numerous Madison Latino agencies came together on Sept. 21 at Synergy Co-Working Space on Madison’s west side to present a check for relief and financial resources to assist Hurricane Harvey victims in the Houston/Southeast Texas area.
Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ of Dane County and UNIDOS partnered with Wisconsin Financial Services, Inc., the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County, the Latino Education Council and other community organizations and businesses to provide financial help to Community Family Centers Organization of Houston, Texas, an organization that works directly with families in devastated areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Community Family Centers serves a large Latinx and immigrant population.
“When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved such as been able to help our brothers and sisters in Texas,” Christian A. Real Merino, one of the coordinators of Orgullo Latinx, tells Madison365. “When one suffers, we all suffer.”
These various groups, with the support of the community, were able to raise a total of $3,675. The raised amount was matched dollar for dollar by Wisconsin Financial Services, Inc to bring the total raised amount to $7,350. Alicia Navarrete, Wisconsin Financial Services’ founder and CEO, presented the check matching the raised amount during the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County’s monthly ENLACE event on Sept. 21. During the event, an additional $100 was donated bringing the final amount to $7,450.
“We are very grateful for the community support on this initiative. We will make sure that these funds go to the community that needs it most,” Baltazar de Anda-Santana, director of Orgullo Latinx LGBT+ of Dane County, tells Madison365. “With everything that is going on around the world with hurricanes and huge storms and people in serious need, it is nice to know that our community is always ready to help. We are especially very thankful to Wisconsin Financial Services who demonstrated that they were really willing to help with the match dollar for dollar.”
The $7,450 dollars will go directly to support the Community Family Centers’ efforts and work with the families affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Community Family Centers Organization works directly with families in devastated areas affected by Hurricane Harvey and serves a large Latinx and immigrant population. According to the Community Family Centers’ President/CEO Maritza Guerrero, many of these individuals are coming seeking assistance to this organization instead of going through local or state agencies.
“She’s very happy. She understands that even though we didn’t reach the $10,000 we set out to raise, she’s very appreciative of the community effort in Madison to support them,” de Anda Santana said after speaking with Guerrero. “She assured me that those funds would be used exclusively to help folks who could otherwise not get services through the government because they are undocumented. She did mention that many of our undocumented brothers and sisters were coming to them to find help because they are afraid with everything going on right now.”
Many of the individuals affected by the flooding in the Houston area sought assistance at the Community Family Centers instead of going through local or state agencies and they really appreciated the efforts of the Latinx community in Madison.
“It was tough to reach our goal because there was a lot of things going on, but those who were able to help we really appreciate,” de Anda-Santana says. “There were other people who were not able to help with money, I know that they demonstrated their support.”