There is no arguing that COVID has created numerous challenges for us as a nation, as an agency, and as individuals. Many of the survivors we serve have especially felt the impact of COVID in their own lives and families. Many families who (prior to COVID) struggled to pay their bills and put food on the table found these tasks increasingly more difficult once COVID hit. Many survivors, like many other Americans, found themselves out of work or working very limited hours. This proved to be a challenge for our agency as well.
When people are worried about having their basic needs met, they have a more difficult time processing the trauma they experienced. We as an agency needed to do more for our survivors, but we were limited in what we could do. That’s where other incredible agencies such as the Hispanic Alliance came in. Hispanic Alliance (La Alianza) rose to the challenge of providing relief and assistance to our clients, but also countless others in the Hispanic community in Hall County.
Vanesa Sarazua, executive director and founder of Hispanic Alliance, has a heart and passion for helping those in our community. But she doesn’t do it all alone! Countless community agencies and volunteers have all come together to assist Hispanic Alliance in serving everyone who comes through their doors…or drive-thru lines!
“At a time when people could choose to do whatever with what they had, I’m so grateful for those community members who chose to donate it back to the community.”
Hispanic Alliance, along with their partner agencies, provided nutritional food boxes to over 10,000 families in 2020. They provided 650 families with food and nutrition education, and 750 families with diapers, formula, and other basic need items. In each food box, they handed out applications for jobs in the area, as well as information on what other services Hispanic Alliance offers.
While their food drives made headlines in 2020, Hispanic Alliance does so much more, including:
- English & GED courses
- Providing newborn packages to families with new babies
- Providing coats to children who don’t have any
- Education through Facebook Lives
- Job application assistance
- WIC/SNAP assistance
- Community outreach
These are only a few of the MANY services they can provide to community members, and a few new programs are in the works for 2021! They are in the process of putting together a Mental Health Support program and a Women’s Entrepreneur Program to come out later in 2021!
For Vanesa and Hispanic Alliance, the work is never done. They are always looking for the next resource, the next program, or the next way to help!
“I want the best for people in the community, so every program we put out is with that heart.”
Are you interested in getting connected with Hispanic Alliance? Do you want to help further their mission? Here are a few ways you can get involved:
Attend LatinoFest!: This year’s LatinoFest will be on September 18, 2021 en la “Plazita” or the Square in Gainesville. Last year they had 3,500 people in attendance, with art vendors, food and drink vendors, and some amazing music and dancing!
Volunteer: Hispanic Alliance is always in need of individuals to help with food drives, deliveries, and so much more!
Donate items: Have your kids outgrown their coats or baby clothes? Are they gently used? Consider donating gently used baby clothes (0-12 months) or children’s jackets to the Hispanic Alliance! They can give them to families in need in our own community.
Spread the word: Help share their content online or connect them with someone you know who may be able to help! The first step could be sharing this blog post!
Donate education: Are you or someone in your organization a Spanish speaker who would like to help Hispanic Alliance provide community education? Reach out to Vanesa (firstname.lastname@example.org) to chat more about this!
We are so grateful to work closely with Hispanic Alliance. The support they have provided Rape Response and the survivors we serve is immeasurable, and words cannot properly express our gratitude. Thank you for reading, and make sure you come back next week for our next post!
Special thanks to Vanesa for taking the time to meet with me and tell me more about their incredible agency!
Post by Brittany Pirrello