Dear ReWA Supporters,
So much has happened in the past eight months that our news from last year seems like it’s from a time capsule: before face masks and social distancing, when the struggles of many ReWA families revolved around balancing jobs with childcare, long commutes with evening ESL classes.
In March, as schools closed and people across the country lost their jobs, ReWA case managers received calls from clients – past and present – who lost their jobs and needed help paying the rent, feeding their families, or applying for unemployment insurance for the first time. We also saw an increase in calls for domestic violence support, and behavioral health counseling.
Today, thanks to the generosity of community supporters, ReWA staff are able to work remotely and continue to offer ESL, citizenship, and vocational training classes online. Our case managers check-in daily with families to make sure they have the latest public health updates, learn about policy changes impacting employment and schooling, and connect families to social services such as summer meals for kids. Our youth instructors and early learning teacher also developed distance-learning packets to keep kids engaged over the summer.
Though it may take years to know the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we do know the hard-won economic gains of ReWA’s immigrant and refugee clients are at risk. At the same time, the Black Lives Matter movement brings the possibility of systemic change, which will surely impact refugee and immigrant communities of color.
It may be some time before we are able to gather in-person again, to learn, to work, to study, to encourage, to advocate, and course, to laugh, to eat, to dance, and to remember. But in the meantime, we invite you to our Annual Gala, to be held virtually on October 19-24. This week-long event celebrates 35 years of the talent, drive, and resiliency of the ReWA community. Please join us and visit www.rewa.org for more details.
Wishing you and your families well during these difficult times.
PS: Here is the impact of our programs by the numbers: