We couldn’t stand by and do nothing.
As the pandemic began its deadly path, our team refused to stand idly by while our most vulnerable Latino communities were left to fend against the rising personal and economic destruction with little or no support.
We had to act.
And so, the Love Not Fear Fund was born, conceived by the love, power, and culture that has come to define our Latino Community Foundation familia. Our aim was simple: deliver immediate relief to our communities most in need, reinforce the grassroots organizations working on the frontlines serving families so that they can better withstand future crises, and work towards long-term systemic change through civic and policy work.
Now, after 2 years, nearly $5 million raised, and over 100 communities served, I am left reflecting on a powerful, joyful reminder that has fueled us from the start: love always prevails.
There is much to be grateful for after 2 years of hardships. Amidst the pain and loss, there was also boundless love. Together, we delivered support and above all else—HOPE to thousands of farmworker and immigrant families impacted by the pandemic and its economic fallout.
Our Love Not Fear grants delivered funding to organizations providing direct relief to undocumented Latinos in California, members of the community who were excluded from state and federal assistance. Latino and farmworker-led organizations like Lideres Campesinas and Binational of Central California that worked with promotoras to deliver much needed resources such as rental assistance, mental health services, vaccination outreach, and job placement supports to improve the health of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families in the Central Valley and throughout the state.
In the Inland Empire, our grants helped community partners like TODEC disburse $5.5 million to over 9,000 impacted families, ensuring farmworkers have critical sick leave pay, housing assistance to quarantine, and helped 10,000 community members get vaccinated. In Eastern Coachella Valley, Alianza is supporting families by providing door-to-door food distribution, healthcare advocacy, and connecting immigrant families to critical health resources.
During this season, we learned so much from our community. We reaffirmed that when we entrust in the wisdom and lived experiences of grassroots leaders, our community gets the support they need when they need it. And their leadership is more critical than ever. Latinos still face significant challenges: from rental assistance to culturally relevant mental health services, Latino-led grassroots continue to meet the moment.
This is why LCF continues to lead the rallying cry among foundations to invest directly and boldly into these grassroots organizations that have held our communities together.
Through the Latino Power Fund, LCF will award additional grants to strengthen Latino-led grassroots so they have the support to leverage federal and state investments intended to help our communities heal and rebuild.
LCF and our community partners are ready to move from crisis response to long-term power building to create a more just and equitable future. If we invest boldly, center the voices of our grassroot leaders, and do it grounded in love, then our comunidad will prevail.
Jacqueline Martinez Garcel
CEO, Latino Community Foundation