What Would Cesar Do?
When the COVID19 Crisis hit San Diego in March 2020, our local schools closed down and students were sent home to shelter in place with their families. Local businesses, parks, and beaches were also closed and thousands of people lost their jobs. Families in the inner city neighborhoods of San Diego struggled to survive, with unemployment, single parent households and children home trying to continue their education online.
When this crisis hit, we asked ourselves, WHAT WOULD CESAR DO? We learned from talking to our young Chavistas at their homes that the impacts of this crisis on their families was devastating. The parents of our more than 400 Chavistas were struggling to keep their jobs, to pay rent, and to buy groceries. To face this crisis, what would Cesar do? He would go into action to find a way to help his community.
This video kicked off our outreach to our supporters asking for donations to The Chavista Family Relief Fund, an emergency fund that would provide direct financial support to our families to help them get through this crisis. We set an initial goal to raise $10,000 but we were amazed that after three weeks we had raised more than $20,000.
But we knew that the needs of our families were growing with each day of the shutdown, so we reached out to other local Foundations to ask for support. The Price Philanthropies Foundation quickly stepped forward with a $25,000 matching grant and the Chavista Family Relief Fund surpassed the $50,000 level. And then we heard from the San Diego Foundation COVID19 Response Fund that they would provide a match of $50,000 and now we had raised more than $100,000 to help these families in their time of need.
Our Club Managers reached out to our families to determine their needs and how we could help. As of June 30th, we have delivered to our families more than 150 cash cards of $100 and $500 to help them pay rent and buy groceries. And thanks to those generous donations, this support can continue in the weeks ahead. Our plans for now are to use at least $80,000 to continue to provide cash cards to needy families for their basic needs.
Additionally, the Chavez Clubs Board of Directors met on Zoom on April 25th and approved a plan for the use of Relief Fund donations. Our Board also approved the use of $20,000 from the Chavista Family Relief Fund to create the Fahari Jeffers Scholarship Fund. Named in memory of Fahari Jeffers, a local champion of workers rights and social justice causes. The Fahari Jeffers Scholarships will help Chavistas who are graduating this year in the midst of this crisis to continue on to college in the fall. We have heard from so many of our graduating Chavistas that the impacts of the pandemic on their families were putting their futures at risk and they may need to put off college because their financial aid won't be enough to cover their costs. We just can't let that happen so these scholarships will make sure that the dreams of our Chavistas will not be destroyed by COVID19.
Graduating seniors who have been members of the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs submitted applications with essays that discuss how the 10 Values of Cesar Chavez have impacted their lives and scholarship awards will be announced in July.
To see how your donations and the support of Price Philanthropies and the San Diego Foundation are directly helping to save lives and dreams of our Chavista families, please take a few minutes to watch these thank you videos.
You can still donate to help support our ongoing efforts to help more than 400 families in need. We will continue to work to support our Chavistas and their dreams to become the leaders of the future. We thank you for your support. Se Puede!