Serving Those Who Have Served Us

Hotels and restaurants—the lifeblood of the Saratoga Springs economy—have been laying off workers or reducing work hours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Among the workers who have been hit hardest are immigrants who may not qualify for some of the forms of government assistance that are being offered in response to the crisis.  The Saratoga Immigration Coalition (SIC) has established an emergency fund to make sure that the immigrant members of our community are not forgotten.  Please remember those who have served us by donating to this cause and sharing the news on social media!

An Emergency Fund

Yes, many organizations at the regional, state and national level have promised assistance for which immigrants may qualify.  But it takes time to match an individual’s needs against a potential funding source, and the more institutional the source, the longer it takes to process an application.  The SIC emergency fund is designed to meet immediate needs, in small amounts, to keep an individual or family afloat while they seek longer-term solutions.  Referrals come from service providers and faith leaders already at work in the community, who in many cases are already familiar with the circumstances of those in need.  And the fund is designed to serve the community already well known to SIC, primarily Saratoga, Washington and Warren Counties in upstate New York.

How Much Is Needed?

An initial survey of local service providers indicates that some 200 immigrant members of our community may face loss or reduction of wages in the present crisis.  If each of them received only $100 from the SIC emergency fund, to go toward the week’s rent, groceries, or other daily needs, the total expense would be $20,000.  We don’t expect that everyone will ask, and we don’t know how long the crisis will last, so SIC has set a more modest goal of $10,000 for the emergency fund.  Our appeal to donors is modest as well. Please donate any amount that you can afford so that collectively we send our immigrant neighbors a message of welcome as well as some means of practical support.

Who Is the Saratoga immigration Coalition? 

Founded in 2017, the Saratoga Immigration Coalition (SIC) is a network of civic groups, faith communities and concerned individuals.  Group members currently include Presbyterian—New England Congregational Church (PNECC), Saint Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Saratoga Friends Meeting, Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, Saratoga Unites, Temple Sinai, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs (UUCSS).  SIC seeks to foster, through support, education and advocacy, a community that is welcoming to all immigrants without regard to legal status.  SIC works in partnership with immigrants and service providers who work directly with immigrants and cooperates with allied organizations that share SIC’s vision of social justice.  The values informing that vision are recognition of the worth and dignity of all persons and acceptance of differences; obligation to love our neighbors and to welcome strangers with genuine hospitality; commitment to the American principles of equal opportunity and justice for all.  

Photo by Zhanjiang Chen on Unsplash
Photo by Irina on Unsplash
Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary on Unsplash


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Terry Diggory 
Saratoga Springs, NY
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