IN partnership with community groups, organizations and foundations, as well as more than sixty individual donors, Filipino Advocates for Justice has raised awareness and funds for the Bayanihan COVID-19 Relief Fund.

The power of community members coming together to organize in a crisis has led to more than $175,000 raised funds, surpassing the original goal of $150,000 set in April.

The Relief Fund was created to provide direct cash assistance to current and former FAJ members and program participants, with priority given to eligible seniors, caregivers and other residents in Alameda and Contra Costa counties who are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the community partners and donors to the relief fund include AECOM Asian Pacific Fund, Avila and Associates, Alisa Delos Reyes, James and Gretchen Sandler Foundation, National Domestic Worker Alliance, Cora Tellez, Alameda County District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle, Asian Health Services, Union Bank Foundation, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, APALA–Alameda Chapter, CA Domestic Worker Coalition’s ‘Rapid Relief Funds for Dignity, Healthy and Safety’, East Bay Community Foundation’s ‘COVID-19 – A Just East Bay Response Fund’, The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, and Sama Sama Cooperative (Sayawan Event).

In the first round, which closed in early May, FAJ received more than 250 applications to the fund. More than 200 individuals and families were awarded $500 in direct cash assistance, totaling over $110,000 in disbursements to community members so far.

In the last few weeks, the FAJ has been in contact with hundreds of community members. The recipients’ gratitude in response has been tremendous and heartfelt, leading to many re-engaging with FAJ’s programs and campaigns.

Virtual meetings and spaces have been added to existing programs and services.

The Kapwa Ko Wellness group on Facebook has been created to provide mental health and wellness services for Kapwa Ko and other Tagalog-speaking members. The TAYO (transitional age youth to 25) group has also created its own Instagram handle (@FAJ_Tayo) for its growing base which also runs the Queer Collective monthly meetings.

Please connect with the FAJ on social media to engage deeper on campaigns for worker and tenant protections, voter education and mobilization and immigrant rights and racial and economic justice campaigns.

Applications for a second round of disbursements will be available from July 1 to July 10 to disburse the remaining funds. For those who wish to get more information or apply, send an email to [email protected].

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