With Decades of Trust, UnidosUS Affiliate RCMA Helps Communities Grow and Thrive Even Under Adversity

How Redlands Christian Migrant Association is helping farmworker families recover from the devastation of Hurricane Irma in southern Florida.

By Stephanie Presch, Content Specialist, UnidosUS

Disaster relief | RCMA | Hurricane Irma

In southern Florida in the 1960s, farmworkers with children had little choice but to bring their children into the fields with them, exposing them to pesticides, snakes, and extreme heat. Some children even died due to contact with heavy machinery, or from falling into wells.

Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) was founded in response to the reports that migrant farmworkers had nowhere to bring their children while they were out in the fields. In those early days, they had two early learning centers for children of migrant and farmworker families.

But RCMA’s two early learning centers weren’t well-attended at the time. So the organization sought the help of Wendell Rollason, an outspoken immigrant rights advocate, who noticed one day that farmworker families were much more likely to sign up their children for child care through one of the centers if they saw people who looked like them working at the center.

Today, RCMA operates 66 centers across 21 counties in Florida, including three charter schools and nine afterschool programs. Each center was able to open because RCMA received an invitation from the community.

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One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico: Helping Ex-offenders Gain the Power to Rebuild Their Lives

The One Stop Career Center of Puerto Rico (OSCC), founded in 2000, has a mission that benefits a community not often talked about: the reentry population.

Since 2000, OSCC has helped approximately 14,000 ex-offenders find meaningful employment and rebuild their lives. OSCC’s participants have an 85% rate of successful job placement and a recidivism rate of approximately 12%, in significant contrast to an average 76.6% recidivism rate across 30 states.

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5 Tips for Effective Grocery Shopping this Holiday Season

By Elizabeth Carrillo, MPH, Program Manager, Institute for Hispanic Health, UnidosUS

With the holidays fast approaching, grocery shopping is likely to become one of the many tasks on our to-do lists this season. If the prospect of going into a grocery store in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holiday you celebrate gives you a bit of stress, don’t worry!

We’ve got simple tips for you from our Comprando Rico y Sano program that you can follow to make the experience a pleasant one, or at least a stress-free one.

Woman at the supermarket with her son buying groceries. | Healthy Eating | Healthy Food

Because let’s face it—we can all benefit from setting some health goals and establishing healthy eating habits during the holiday season. You can follow these five tips to keep yourself organized, and save money and time while grocery shopping.

RELATED: Tips and Resources for a Bacteria-Free Thanksgiving

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#SaveTPS to Save the American Dream

Imagine having worked hard to go to school, followed your passion, and reached a place in your career where you can help others, only to have it potentially stripped away. That is what is already happening to some of the 325,000 immigrants in this country who are recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Save TPS

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After Hurricane Maria, UnidosUS Affiliates Assist New Arrivals from Puerto Rico

Latino Leadership in partnership with Turin Aviation taking provisions to La Perla in Puerto Rico.

According to Puerto Rico’s government’s website status.pr, only 17% of Puerto Rico’s residents have electricity and only 64% have water. As Puerto Rico continues to struggle in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, organizations on the mainland are preparing for the unexpected relocation of family and friends to the states. As many as 200,000 of the 3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico could resettle in states where they have family ties, including Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania, according to Dr. Edwin Meléndez, Director of Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños and a member of UnidosUS’s Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

UnidosUS Affiliates are leading work to help families make a smooth transition to the states.  Latino Leadership in Orlando, Florida was among the first to bring our attention to these families’ needs, and is spearheading efforts to support those who arrive in Orlando, where they expect as many as 100,000 from the island. Through a partnership with the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latino Leadership established the Puerto Rico Family Response Center at the Orlando airport, in order to help reunify families in Florida, and provide adequate services to help them transition and restart their lives. This partnership brings together a unique network of resources as well as the support and trust of the Latino community in Florida.

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Unidos por Houston y Miami: El rol de las organizaciones comunitarias en las actividades de ayuda en situaciones catastróficas

Los Afiliados de UnidosUS están ayudando a que las familias se levanten más fuertes después de los devastadores huracanes Harvey e Irma

Después de que los huracanes Harvey e Irma azotaran Texas y Florida, las organizaciones comunitarias—incluso miembros de la Red de Afiliados de UnidosUS—trabajaron con las familias damnificadas para cubrir las lagunas entre los recursos disponibles a través del gobierno federal y local y las necesidades de las comunidades. Estas organizaciones locales, en las que sus comunidades confían, fueron socios fundamentales para las agencias de asistencia en caso de desastre como la Cruz Roja Americana para prestar servicios culturalmente adecuados y lingüísticamente apropiados a las familias.

Las familias latinas—especialmente las recién llegadas o las que viven en comunidades rurales o remotas—enfrentaron dificultades únicas después de estos dos huracanes. Por ejemplo, no todas tenían conocimiento de la ayuda y los recursos que estaban disponibles a través de los programas del gobierno de EE.UU., tales como FEMA, el Programa de Asistencia Suplementaria de Nutrición (SNAP, por sus siglas en inglés) y la división local del Departamento de Servicios para Familias y Niños, o entendían el proceso para conseguir asistencia en casos catastróficos como estos.

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Parent Engagement: In the Schoolhouse and Beyond

Guest blog post by Maritza Solano, Director of Education, CASA

Carla* (*names have been changed for confidentially) was nervous about being a panelist during the National PTA Legislative Conference in Washington, DC in early March. Carla, along with two other mothers from Prince George’s County in Maryland, were invited by UnidosUS’s (formerly NCLR) education team to the Conference to share her perspective on how to better engage underserved communities—specifically immigrant parents like herself.

Carla’s perspective was critical, as the audience present at the Conference had the potential to impact national policy conversations being debated on Capitol Hill. She was bombarded with questions from participants intrigued by how an undocumented mother of four with limited English skills had become such a fearless leader of her children’s school and community, despite the political rhetoric that was targeting families like her own. Carla’s response was straightforward: “I am no longer afraid and know that my voice is powerful and needed”.

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