Things That Matter

For This Year’s July 4th Consider Volunteering Your Time With Organizations Meant To Help Migrants And Dreamers

Every 4th of July millions of Americans celebrate Independence Day. But besides enjoying a family meal and the night sky sprinkled with fireworks, and having a chela while brushing up on your US history, this holiday is also a good opportunity to remember and live by the American values of community, solidarity, and hospitality.

In these politically turbulent years there have been many recent attacks on people of color and refugees, brutal limitations to female reproductive rights, attacks against ethnic and religious minorities, and abusive treatment at detention centers that verge on the illegal, that perhaps the only way to celebrate to volunteer and help one of the many organizations that are fighting against injustice and for a fairer United States. As Barack Obama once said about community organizing and volunteerism: “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.” ¡Así que manos a la obra!

ProLiteracy (nationwide)

This is a pretty awesome organization that has a very clear and important goal: to increase literacy levels in the adult population, with the belief that every adult has the right to learn how to read and write. You can volunteer by teaching others to increase not only basic literacy but also maths and computer literacy, which can help others increase their employment prospects and play a larger role in their family and social lives. This organization has a volunteer workforce of 85%. This seems like an awesome and frankly very relevant place to start making a difference.

Learn more here.

Latinas Contra Cancer (California)

This organization provides counseling and help to Latinas who are undergoing the hard road of facing cancer. It was founded to “address the void in culturally and linguistically sensitive programs that meet the health care needs of Latinos around issues of cancer.” If you are bilingual and willing to help, and live in the Silicon Valley area, this might be the place for you. They are involved in detection and screening, patient support, research and many other activities.

Learn more here.

The Trevor Project

This organization offers help to LGBTQ youth that are in dire need of help. They rely on volunteer work, in a program that aims to “provide life-saving support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) youth, The Trevor Project recruits passionate volunteers to staff our crisis intervention services”. The organization was founded in 1998 by the directors of the short film “Trevor,” which won an Oscar (you can watch the movie here ).

Learn more here.

Angry Tias & Abuelas

Donate to the Angry Tias and Abuelas. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/angry-tias-and-abuelas-of-rgv-1

Posted by Angry Tias and Abuelas of the RGV on Wednesday, June 30, 2021

This recently formed group’s mission is to “advocate for dignity and justice for individuals and families seeking asylum at our borders. As they embark on their journeys to destinations across the U.S., our aim is to assure their basic health and safety needs are met”. They provide basic needs such as water, food, toiletries and other items to those who are released by ICE in their centers near Brownsville, Texas. The best way to contact them and offer help is through Facebook.

Learn more here.

Border Angels (California)

This organization operates at the epicenter of the migratory flow from Mexico into the United States. Border Angels “is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to issues related to the US-Mexican border.” They organize events such as tours of the border that seek to raise awareness of the perilous journey taken by those who seek to call America home. Programs like Water Drops, for example, involve leaving water in the desert for migrants taking the journey.

Learn more here.

Raices (Texas)

This Texan organization is at the frontline of the many tribulations that migrants are facing at the Southern border. It is ” a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world.” They provide legal advocacy and representation to migrants and deal with as many as 50,000 cases a year. They certainly can always do with a little help, and they have Youth Volunteer, General Volunteer and a Pro Bono Program where you can offer your time and expertise.

Learn more here.

Casa Latina (Seattle)

This organization based in Seattle is an answer to the increasing influx of migrants into the city. Casa Latinas looks to be the following: “As a vibrant, immigrant worker rights organization, Casa Latina empowers low-wage Latino immigrants to move from economic insecurity to economic prosperity and to lift their voices to take action around public policy issues that affect them”. They have over 75 volunteers, and they are constantly opening new positions.

Learn more here.

Latin Women in Action

If you live in the Big Apple this might be the organization for you. The group seeks to be “a comprehensive community based social service agency. Its mission and goals are to provide essential services to not only Latinas but any family or individual seeking our help in New York City.” You can volunteer to offer legal, immigration or family services. After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, for example, they offered help to Boricuas arriving in the city feeling the devastation.

Learn more here.

Acción Latina

Your abuela would say that la ropa sucia se lava en casaand that you should never be farol de la calle, oscuridad de la casa. In short: offer your help to those closest to you. This organization’s mission is to “promote cultural arts, community media, and civic engagement as a way of building healthy and empowered Latino communities.” There is an open call for volunteers, which is of particular interest to those who wish to gain experience in media.

Learn more here.

Brown Girls Do Ballet

What an amazing initiative. One of the spaces where young girls of color feel most excluded is in the arts, particularly the ones that tend to be costly. Ballet is one of these, and this organization’s mission is to “help increase participation of underrepresented minority populations in ballet programs through organizing and arranging ballet performances, photo exhibitions, and providing resources and scholarships to assist young girls in their ballet development and training.” You can help out with community outreach or, if you are a ballet dancer yourself, by mentoring young students. This organization can really help the self-confidence of young Brown girls and make society at large a more equal field for nuestras muchachas.

Learn more here.

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