SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- More than 40 Latino-led nonprofit organizations will receive another $2 million to help families who are struggling due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and recent wildfires. California's Latino community has been heavily impacted by both COVID-19 infections and deaths.
The Latino Community Foundation raised money from donors across the country.
"Latinos represent the vast majority of essential workers in some of the hardest-hit regions of our state. So for us, this could not come at a more critical time." says Veronica Vences, associate executive director at La Luz Center.
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The organization provides family services and training for economic advancement for those in Sonoma Valley.
Vences spoke about the need for the North Bay.
"We've been partnering with the Latino Community Foundation for almost a decade," she said. "With this most recent grant, something we knew already was that there was fire season in Sonoma County. There's a lot of need especially for farmworkers. With this latest fire a lot of our vineyard owners were going to write off their losses with insurance. But for those in the fields, it's loss of income."
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That sentiment was echoed by Masha Chernyak, vice president of programs at the Latino Community Foundation.
"Our families don't want to be sick, but they also don't want to be homeless and so they're putting their lives at risk," Chernyak said.
She also believes the investment in the Latino community will help all communities rebuild and recover from the economic crisis.
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"For us this is an opportunity to dream bigger and go beyond charity," she said. "We're not interested in charity. We want justice. We want opportunity. People don't want handouts. They want access to real economic opportunities to help them feed their families. That's it!"
To learn more about the relief grants and to donate, visit the Latino Community Foundation and La Luz Center.
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