It’s National Picnic Week and since you’re reading this, we’re assuming you’re the altruistic, enjoy-every-moment type. So trust that as we help you set the tone of your fictional (or real) picnic, we’ll give you a vetted, Latino driven and focused organization that deserves your money. Who knows, maybe you’ll even plan the picnic IRL to raise awareness for the cause?
Vamos a ver.
Where's the picnic at?
@thatssohaute / Twitter
Pick a basket, any basket.
Will there be salad?
@FoodHeaIth / Twitter
Play a song to set the mood.
What food can a picnic not exist without?
Whose *not* invited?
Pick a field of flowers you'd want to be in.
Ok, really, talk about the humans invited.
@Whatawonder2018 / Twitter
What's one word you want your guests to describe your picnic?
Pick a butterfly.
Pick a beverage.
What's the dream ending to your picnic?
Dessert: will it make an entrance?
@OneGreenPlanet / Twitter
Will there be ghost stories?
@KillingEve / Twitter
Plan A Picnic And We’ll Tell You What Organization You Should Donate To
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
NLIRH is doing the research nobody else is--understanding how Latinas suffer under gender inequality, especially in regards to access to healthcare. Then, NLIRH is using policy change and Latina leadership development to advance a reproductive justice agenda to include immigrant healthcare, abortion access, and affordable healthcare.
You're ready to let patriarchy rest in pieces, now more than ever. We're not rewinding history and we're not letting women of color and immigrants get left behind in anyone's version of feminism. This is it, you're here for it.
Trans Latina Coalition
TLC is formed by Trans Latinx leaders *for* trans Latinx immigrants living in the U.S. They work with policy makers to find solutions to trans peoples' unique needs, especially those living in detention centers without access to appropriate healthcare.
You are abounding in inclusive energy because you know justice reform must be intersectional, and you are intentional about creating space for this advocacy work from picnic conversations to your pocketbook.
Freedom for Immigrants
Freedom for Immigrants is devoted to abolishing immigration detention, while ending the isolation of people currently suffering in this profit-driven system. They are the only nonprofit in the country monitoring the human rights abuses faced by immigrants detained by ICE through a national hotline and network of volunteer detention visitors, while also modeling a community-based alternative to detention that welcomes immigrants into the social fabric of the United States.
You and Freedom for Immigrants have a lot in common--you're both changing the world one person, one step at a time, and feel everyone has a right to a safe space of belonging.
Spay Mexico is aiming to end pet overpopulation and homelessness in Mexico one animal at a time. It's vision is to create affordable and free spay and neuter surgeries for responsible guardians and homeless animals alike.
You can't imagine your animal companion left to fend for him or herself in the streets anymore than any other dog or cat. Your heart is big enough to extend to a range of issues, and you won't leave anyone behind.
Thanksgiving can feel like a rather loaded holiday, particularly if you are a part of (or are empathetic to) the Native American community. The revisionist retelling of what went on between American Indians and the Pilgrims who contributed to the ongoing occupation and genocide of the former can just leave a nasty taste in your mouth. Instead of accepting the American jingoist version of the holiday, many people have chosen to simply adopt the idea of expressing gratitude and convening with loved ones over food.
It may be all the tryptophan from the turkey or being around friends and family, but the holiday seems to trigger a need to give to more vulnerable groups and there are fewer more vulnerable groups than indigenous people around the world. It’s not just in the United States, indigenous lives are globally marginalized and with that comes a great cost to humanity: their lives and our own.
Indigenous communities are essential to combating climate change and when we allow those communities to be destroyed, we allow our planet to be destroyed. This Thanksgiving, let’s give back.
Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women USA
MMIW USA has a narrow scope, “to bring our missing home and help the families of the murdered cope and support them through the process of grief.” The organization provides guidance and resources to family members, who lack the support of the system, to deal with the impossible situation of having a missing loved one. The larger goal of MMIW USA is to eradicate the issue of Native American women encountering disproportionate levels of violence in the U.S.
According to PWNA, 90,000 American Indian families are homeless or under-housed. By serving 60 reservations across 12 states, PWNA centers “underserved and geographically isolated” communities in the Northern Plains and Southwest. The organization provides support by using programs and resources to address short-term and long-term community concerns like unemployment and housing.
Don’t worry, they know the name sounds weird and they need to explain it. In the 1980s, during the Hopi-Navajo land dispute that displaced 10,000 Navajas, elders faced particularly severe hardships including a lack of food. Linda Myers and Grace Smith Yellowhammer started this organization by doing food runs for those elders.
“When you adopt, you commit to providing your Elder with two sets of Rainbow Food Boxes annually. A.N.E. provides and delivers the food,” according to the Website.
NAHA serves two of the poorest counties in the country, the Crow Creek and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota, where eight out of 10 Native Americans living on the reservations are employed. Like many organizations, NAHA is committed to combating the pervasive hunger that has riddled indigenous communities for decades, along with basic necessities.
The college fund provides Native Americans with the resources necessary to take up space in higher education and is the largest of its kind in the U.S.
“For 30 years, the College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native student access to higher education. We provide scholarships, programming to improve Native American student access to higher education, and the support and tools for them to succeed once they are there,” according to the mission statement.
NARF provides legal resources to tribes and American Indians who cannot afford adequate representation. Since 1971, the organization has defended and won major cases to support tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, natural resource protection, education, and more on behalf of American Indians.
ITK provides research, advocacy and public outreach to protect and advance the rights of Inuit in Canada. This includes a comprehensive program including plans to combat climate change, an Inuit language journal, a National Inuit Youth Counsel, food-based initiatives, and suicide prevention efforts.
“Only 36% of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas are at or above national minimum reading standards, compared to 96% for non-Indigenous students in major cities,” according to the ILF website.
The organization addresses illiteracy in 280 remote indigenous communities in Australia by providing books, literacy programs, and community literacy projects.
Amazon Watch not only seeks to preserve the rainforest but it also serves to advance the rights and interests of indigenous communities in the Amazon Basin. Amazon Watch argues there is no protecting the Amazon without protecting the people who have called it home for centuries.
“Amazon Watch promotes these indigenous-led solutions, such as green development and autonomous solar power, and expands capacity for indigenous leaders, especially women, to maintain their autonomy and sovereignty for the stewardship of their ancestral territories,” according to their mission statement.
The project partners with these communities, along with environmental organizations to continue to fight for human rights, corporate accountability, and to reduce the harmful effects of climate change.
Much like Amazon Watch, Amazon Frontlines believes that the destruction of the Amazon is intrinsically linked to the destruction of indigenous communities. AF provides indigenous families with access to clean water and renewable energy, particularly the Kofan, Siona, Secoya, and Waorani who live downriver from Ecuador’s largest oil fields. However, a renewed interest in climate change and preventing the Amazon fires has allowed the organization to extend support to communities in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil.
The community of Morelia, Mexico is rallying to help a homeless man after a searing image of the man kneeling in the street, mourning his beloved dog, has gone viral. The man, only known as Raul, had used what little money he had to keep his closest friend, named Solovino, happy and healthy. All who have lost a companion animal of their own can feel the grief as they bear witness to the tragic moment Raul is pictured kneeling over Solovino’s body in the middle of the street. A driver hit Solovino on Camelinas de Morelia Avenue, and continued driving, leaving behind a tragedy.
When the residents of Morelia saw the image, they recalled all the times Raul helped them find parking spots, and the countless times the pair were spotting gifting each other good company. Local businesses and residents are now fundraising to comfort Raul during his grieving period, and are trying to get him off the streets.
A few months ago, Solovino got lost, and Raul had peppered the city streets with flyers to help him find his friend.
According to Informando en CsN, Raul had created cards and ‘lost’ posters using whatever he could find lying around. A few weeks ago, the two were happily reunited, until Solovino’s death. Reportedly, Raul initially declined any help from passersby, stricken with grief and wanting to be with Solovino alone. Eventually, he allowed some women to help him find an appropriate place to bury dear Solovino.
One local business used its social media platform to fundraise for Raul.
“We regret the loss of Mr. Raul’s faithful friend,” posted local restaurant Mariscos El Pirata – Periferico on Facebook. “Despite his difficult situation, Raul is a very pleasant and hardworking person, and helps us some days of the week to take care of the cars parked in the surroundings of Mariscos El Pirata.” The restaurant is allowing people to use their facilities as a donation center for any food or clothes people want to bring by for Raul. “This day we will not share advertising of the restaurant, but we will make this post to ask you for your support if anyone wants to help him with food or clothes, or whatever will return a smile to his face. Our facilities are open from 10 am to 6 pm for anyone who wants to help Don Raul. Help us share.”
The Facebook post has received 623 shares at the time of this publication.
Neighbors are sharing the spots around town where they typically find Raul.
“From what I could investigate, he sleeps outside the Guadalajara pharmacy that is a few blocks from Mariscos,” shared Fernando Garcia. Garcia wasn’t able to find Raul, but left him clothes, a fresh blanket and some water. Unfortunately, the influx of attention on Raul has also come from folks who might not be thinking through their donations. According to locals, several people have offered Raul a puppy. Guita MeEn passed along a message from Raul, commenting on Marisco’s Facebook post to say, “Guys, awhile ago I went to leave some things to Mr. Raul and he commented that someone left him a puppy but he wants to return the puppy. He can’t offer a home to the puppy, so please, no dogs!”
Morelia residents are also furious at the unknown driver that was speeding so fast, they hit a dog. “I’ll never forget the moment I lost my dog that way,” shared Cumulus Claus, “It’s been one of the worst episodes that has touched my life. I remember that, despite everything, I was grateful he died intact :'( I believe that did not happen with [Solovino] and it must feel worse to see his body completely destroyed. I’m very sorry for what happened and I hope the driver has a pinch of consciousness and decrease the speed when driving to have better capacity to respond when a live being crosses his way in the future…”
Others are calling on Marsicos to offer Raul a stable job.
“What a nice gesture,” Monserrat Calderón commented on the restaurant’s willingness to become a donation center for Raul, “but you should help him by giving him the stable work.”
You can mail donations to Mariscos El Pirata at El Mirador del Punhuato, 58249 Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. Rest in Peace, sweet Solovino.