Back in July when COVID-19 was in overdrive, the Emma Lazarus Resilience Fund was created “to provide financial assistance to individuals and families who are impacted by COVID-19 and are ineligible for federal COVID-19 relief programs.” It was initially launched thanks to an initial $500,000 contribution from the New York-based Open Society Foundation (OSF). Recently it received a nice boost of a donation of $100,000 from United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
As a result of this collaboration, the following 16 area nonprofits will receive funding to “provide direct financial assistance to immigrant and refugee individuals and families impacted by COVID-19”: Catholic Charities of Dallas Inc., Center for Survivors of Torture, Children’s Food Ministry, Community Action Organizers, Family Independence Initiative, Heard That Foundation, ImmSchools, International Rescue Committee, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, Open Arms, Inc. dba Bryan’s House, Rosa Es Rojo Inc., The Concilio, The Stewpot of First Presbyterian Church, UNT Dallas Foundation, Wilkinson Center and Workers Defense Project.
The organizations were selected by OSF, the City of Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs and Communities Foundation of Texas, which is administering the funds “to be distributed as a one-time support of $500 directed to smaller families or families with more access to resources, and up to $1,000 in one-time support to larger families or families with less access to additional resources.”
According to City of Dallas Chief of Equity and Inclusion Liz Cedillo-Pereira, “The organizations were selected based on a demonstrated track record of serving immigrant and refugee communities in Dallas. It’s important that we work with community groups that have strong relationships with immigrant and refugee families to ensure that we are providing support to those in need during this difficult time.”
Trivia note: If you’re wondering who Emma Lazarus is, she was the 19th century American poet, who wrote the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty’s plaque — “”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”