During these extreme times, there is enormous strain on every aspect of the social safety net. There is simply not enough help for everyone who might need it. And while we may wish to heal the world, we find ourselves more immobile than ever. It is precisely this sense of helplessness from which we must struggle to liberate ourselves.
It was in such a spirit that One San Mateo began some months ago to search for ways we might still be of service to our community. While we are a group that focuses primarily on housing issues, we decided that the most immediate way we might be of help to those in severe need was by getting grocery gift cards into the hands of families in the local undocumented community. Many have been without work for months. At the same time, they are cut off from critical forms of assistance.
We were deeply gladdened to see what a showing of community generosity our efforts unleashed. As things stand, the funds have been raised (more than was expected!), the cards have been purchased, and now, through the help of Reverend Jorge Bautista of the Congregational Church of San Mateo, those cards are making their way to the families that need them. Throughout the process, it has only become clearer and clearer just what a lifeline kindnesses like these are. To quote Reverend Penny Nixon of the Congregational Church of San Mateo:
“It allows CCSM a way to channel this generosity with people connected to us who really are in need of it because of the disparate way this pandemic affects many people in North Central. Our CCSM assistance fund is solid and because of your help, we should be able to continue to support these families for some months to come.”
So thanks once again to everyone who contributed to our “Stock the Cupboards” campaign. Rest assured that it is making a difference as we speak. As we all know, the crisis has unfortunately continued to rage on, and the need for action, particularly at the governmental level, has only grown more intense. However, we continue to have faith that by remaining engaged and tapping into our better natures, we will be able to rebuild together our beloved community.