The coronavirus pandemic has created a severe and devastating situation in Lázaro Cárdenas, the region of Mexico we serve. Without tourists, the local economy has completely stopped, leaving people unemployed, hungry, and struggling to access basic necessities. The students we have championed for the last 6 years are facing a terrifying future.
Now, these same students are leading our response. They have developed a four-part emergency response plan to address the critical issues their communities are currently facing, including food security, public health, student care, and economic growth.
They have asked us to come alongside them as they care for their communities. We get to support them as they respond to this crisis. And when you give today, the JML Hope Foundation and the Luebke Family Foundation will match your gift twice — tripling your impact.
- Progress toward funding 1000 emergency packs 100% 100%
- Progress toward our full Covid-19 Response Fund 100% 100%
Goal: $129,350 | Raised: $129,350
Planting a community garden and increasing local agriculture production to feed families.
Delivering medical supplies, educating others about healthy practices, and partnering with local medical facilities.
Educating, mentoring, and encouraging students as they navigate this difficult season.
Developing a paid internship program and investing in the local economy through job creation.
The students we serve live in high-risk communities. Even in normal circumstances, they face economic poverty, unstable work environments, and difficult home lives. Their burdened daily reality is why we built the Institute in the first place — to connect students hidden by poverty, help them realize their full potential, and equip them to become local and global leaders.
Now, these already vulnerable communities are feeling the tremendous pressure and pain of COVID-19. The local economy is propelled by tourism and exporting— and now both industries are shut down. This means no jobs, no income, and very limited access to food and supplies.
The situation is dire. But our students are stepping up to lead their communities forward.
Our existing relationships and community support allow us to act quickly and effectively — empowering the very students we serve to lead the charge. They know what needs to be done, and now we will help them make it happen.
Over the next few months, we will follow these students’ lead as we respond to the pressing needs created by COVID-19. We will support young people and their families with farming inputs so they can grow their own food, education and training while school is out of session, public health initiatives to support both individuals and medical facilities, and small business support as they weather this economic storm.
As we navigate this unexpected and difficult season, here is what we know:
- We are (and have always been) student-centered. Hand Offering Hope exists to champion students and equip them to become community leaders— and that is true now more than ever.
- We are responding to very real, very severe needs. The regions we serve are suffering from the economic ramifications of the coronavirus. With tourism shut down and strict governmental regulations in place, there are no jobs, limited opportunities to access supplies and heavily restricted mobility. Our students, their families and their neighbors — already living on limited economic resources — can no longer access reliable sources of food or supplies
- Our students are leading the way. Our students are already responding to tangible needs they have identified in their communities — we get to come alongside them and offer our support as they navigate severe health, community, and economic challenges
- Our students are bravely paving a path to an uncharted (and scary) future. While the immediate needs are great, we know that this is only the beginning. We are in this for the long haul — committed to these students now and always.
And here is how we’re responding:
- Immediate and longer-term food security. Our first step was ensuring that people have enough to eat right now. Thanks to the generosity of people like you, we were able to deliver 1,000 emergency supply packs to the most vulnerable people in the community. Now, we are looking to build longer-term food security. We are working with students and local leaders to increase local agricultural production so that people can continue eating, even when the economy is stalled.
- Public health awareness. Through partnerships with local medical facilities, we are equipping students to increase health awareness and resources in their communities. We are delivering medical supplies such as masks, rubbing alcohol, and student-produced PPE to clinics that we have partnered with for the last four years, and young people have begun creating PSAs about healthy behaviors such as hand washing and physical distancing.
- Student care. Students are — and have always been — at the heart of Hands Offering Hope. We are currently developing a Google classroom format that will allow us to shift our Institute online so that young people can engage with our curriculum this summer. In addition, we have deployed 10 student leaders who will each champion an additional 10 students — providing critical peer support to one another.
- Economic growth. The long-term economic implications on the communities we serve will be severe. To counter this surge of unemployment, we will hire 10 students who have graduated from our programs to implement these initiatives through a paid internship program. We are also exploring how to partner with and provide business to local transport and logistics companies to facilitate supply and distribution.