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Center of Help easing the burden on Annapolis immigrant families

| May 28, 2020, 01:12 PM

The immigrant community in Annapolis is suffering greatly due to COVID-19, and the number of families needing help during this time is quickly increasing. The Center of Help, based in Annapolis, has ramped up its activities by finding partners and volunteers to fundraise and deliver food weekly to families in desperate need, some of them testing positive for coronavirus. More than 200 families have called specifically in need of food, and there are many more families calling for assistance with processing unemployment papers, writing letters to landlords or people from whom they rent, finding medical access during this time, and more. In total, the caseworkers of the Center of Help have closed over 800 cases since the transition to remote work on March 14. These families in need are low-income members of the Annapolis community, many of whom have lost their jobs or are experiencing reduced hours while serving as essential workers.

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Along with volunteers and partnerships with county organizations, the Center of Help is trying to eliminate as much food insecurity as possible within the community. Among others, some of the coordinated effort networks so far are hot meals from Caliente Grill, Lemongrass, and Cafe Mezzanotte. ”We handed hot meals to mothers who literally started tearing up and to their little ones who had smiles as big as the universe,” says Tatiana Klein, vice-president of the board at Center of Help. The West Annapolis Pop Up Pantry has geared up to help these families. Bella Italia Annapolis will made hot spaghetti and meatballs for 100 children. Graul’s Market in Annapolis and Cape St. Claire, as well as Great Harvest Annapolis, have donated their products and goods. “If you’re able to help us, we could serve even more families,” says Klein.

The Health Department sends a list to the Center of Help of all the immigrant families with positive COVID-19 tests. Along with the generous aid of Diana Love, Suzy Cruz of Guadeloupe Ministries, Love Annapolis, Rob Levit, Mocha Moms of Anne Arundel County, and many other donors, the Center of Help and many volunteers help provide these families with food deliveries and rent assistance. The Center of Help also educates families on health procedures and safety practices during the pandemic, as well as informs them of other opportunities for government help or community food assistance. “We are very thankful for the people who have stepped up to help, but at the same time we are afraid that people may get drained as the needs increase,” says Klein.

Every Saturday, from 10 AM to 12 PM at the Allen Apartments, 205 Center St, the Center of Help provides food, toys, clothes, and assistance with other needs. Among many, the Center of Help is grateful for the support of St. Margaret’s Church, the Fleming Family, Guadalupe Ministries, Caliente Grill, Ariana Perez, Rashida Queen, Christine Feldman, Janice Keating, María Jose, Adriana Lee, and Kari Benoit.

The Center of Help is grateful for the aid of many organizations, such as The Great Annapolis Diaper Drive, AIJN, Downtown Hope, and many individuals who have donated food gift cards, cash, or baked goods.

So, how can you help? Volunteers at the Center of Help are in desperate need of food gift cards to grocery stores, baby wipes, fruits and vegetables, feminine products, protein sources, dairy products, and even baked goods. The Center of Help also greatly appreciates monetary donations at www.centerofhelp.org.

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Category: Annapolis Gives, COVID, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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