Dozens of local families will be holding a fundraiser, “Kids Helping Kids & Families,” to raise money for area immigrants with emergency issues on Sunday, August 12, 9 a.m.-noon, at Octopi Brewing, 1131 Uniek Dr., in Waunakee. Emergency issues include legal assistance to families and children facing deportation and separation.
The money raised will support the Dane County Immigrant Assistance Fund, which benefits the Immigrant Assistance Collaborative, six local organizations at the frontlines of the effort: Catholic Multicultural Center, Centro Hispano, Community Immigration Law Center, Immigrant Justice Clinic, Literacy Network, and Rise Law Center.
The Dane County Immigrant Assistance Fund, held at Madison Community Foundation, was created in 2017 by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and the Dane County Board of Supervisors with $150,000 in county funds. The city of Madison contributed an additional $50,000. Dane County was chosen as one of twelve jurisdictions to be part of the Vera Institute of Justice’s national initiative called the Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Cities Network and also received a $100,000 grant from them.
The Fund is part of an effort to protect the well-being of local residents by providing legal representation to immigrants facing deportation hearings and family separation.
“These are trying times for these children and families, and we have the opportunity to help,” said event organizer Birgitta Larsen Gamez in a press release. “My hope for these kids and their families is that they have fair representation. I want to lead by example and try to teach my children to learn how to treat others fairly, and how to help. Our community thrives when we support each other. Any support, any contribution, large or small, has a meaningful impact.”
“Data through the Vera Institute of Justice suggests that without proper deportation defense a person has only about a four percent chance of success in proceedings,” Karen Menéndez Coller, executive director of Centro Hispano, said in a statement. “The Immigrant Assistance Collaborative has come together to ensure proper representation for our neighbors threatened by deportation, but more so to improve the capacity for legal support and wraparound family services in Dane County.”
The all-ages event will feature music, face-painting, a bouncy house, interactive science experiments, a silent auction, and educational/informational resources. There is a suggested $10 donation at the door. For those who cannot attend but would like to support the Fund, donations can be made here.