I wish we were cruising to the end of 2020 with the many challenges we’ve faced behind us. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all faced unprecedented obstacles. However, we are inspired every day by the grace and adaptability we see in our students and families facing compounding uncertainty and hardship.
We are grateful for the many times you’ve answered our calls for support this year, and every year. It is because of this generous community that families are able to stabilize and move their goals forward. Thank you!
As you can imagine, the new restrictions announced on Monday will have a disproportionate effect on families still reeling from restrictions put in place in March. Many families are facing employment and housing insecurity. While some families went back to work as we entered Phase 2, these new shutdowns will put many families out of work (again) as we approach the holiday season and the cold of winter. Families are already traveling long distances to get to jobs and we expect that employment will continue to be a struggle. Finding work will mean traveling even farther, spending less time with their children and putting their families at greater risk of contracting the Coronavirus.
Bright Spot: Barriers to technology are the greatest obstacle for youth and families in today’s virtual learning environment. Being computer literate has never been more important than it is this year. Thanks to overwhelming support from our community, Kandelia continues to secure computers, WiFi hot spots and provide digital literacy training to our youth and families. This month 15 students in our family classes completed a digital literacy certificate program provided by our team. This accomplishment gives students a sense of pride and confidence and they are eager to teach others what they have learned!
This year, instead of our typical winter drive of clothing and gifts, we are asking you for a donation that will immediately be put to work helping families stabilize and thrive. Our team will work one on one with families to meet their individual needs – whether that is with gift cards for holiday presents for their children or small cash grants for their most basic needs.
Thank you for being there for our immigrant and refugee neighbors – every gift large or small will be put to the highest need for our families.
Kandelia’s mission is to remove barriers to opportunities so immigrant and refugee communities can flourish without compromising values, heritage or ethnicity. We accomplish this mission in partnership with you – through collaboration and understanding with our community so we can and will break down barriers and work together for the common good.
Sieng Douangdala, Community Engagement Manager
P.S. A special thank you to Rainier Valley and St. Mary food banks for providing holiday meal bags to all of our families this Thanksgiving weekend.
“The most important thing is that they love us like family. It doesn’t matter where we come from or
who we are. They don’t see that. They treat us all incredibly well and they are great, unique people.“