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La Lucha Fund Frequently Asked Questions

La Lucha Fund is a collaboration between Movimiento Cosecha, the Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network, the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, and LatinxGR.  The fund is held at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and was created as a short-term, emergency response to COVID-19. La Lucha Fund is designed to provide financial resources directly to families in Kent County who are undocumented or mixed status and not eligible for unemployment, CARES Act relief, or other government support.

How was La Lucha Fund created?

As the COVID-19 crisis began to unfold, activists across the country began to organize to support vulnerable members of their communities. Many groups, including the Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network (GRAMAN) and Movimiento Cosecha, rapidly created processes for the collection and distribution of cash assistance to individuals, relying on the power of neighbors supporting neighbors to meet needs as they arose. In Grand Rapids, leaders of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, the Latino Community Coalition, the Latina Network of West Michigan, the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the West Michigan Latino Network (which together form LatinxGR) immediately began conversations about how to ensure that the needs of members of the undocumented community, who do not qualify for unemployment, CARES Act stimulus checks, or other government support, were not forgotten. These groups teamed up with Grand Rapids Community Foundation to create La Lucha Fund, expanding on the work Cosecha and GRAMAN were already doing, and making it specific to families living in Kent County who are undocumented or mixed status.

Why is it called La Lucha Fund?

During this global health crisis, members of our community who are undocumented are particularly at risk. Even under regular circumstances, families who are undocumented don't have access to basic necessities like health insurance, paid sick leave or unemployment. At this moment, those inequities are exacerbated by a loss of jobs and ineligibility for formal COVID-19 relief, making it difficult to buy food, medicine, and other household necessities, or pay rent, utilities, and other monthly bills. La Lucha means the fight or struggle, and here, it refers to all of us working together to support community members who systems are leaving behind. La Lucha Fund is a reflection of the power and potential that comes from collaboration between all kinds of people and community organizations. This fund will exist temporarily, as a way to address the impact of the current COVID-19 crisis on the undocumented community. If you would like to learn more about ongoing work related to this topic, please visit the Movimiento Cosecha website and register for updates!

What is Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s role in La Lucha Fund?

Grand Rapids Community Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor for the fund, accepting and processing donations on its behalf. The Community Foundation also made an initial investment of $100,000 to the fund. The vetting of La Lucha Fund applications and fund disbursals are conducted by members of Movimiento Cosecha, the Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network, and the Hispanic Center of West Michigan, with additional support as needed from the other LatinxGR organizations (Latino Community Coalition, Latina Network of West Michigan, West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and West Michigan Latino Network).

How can I donate to La Lucha Fund?

Click here to give online. If you would like to mail a check, please send it to 185 Oakes St. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Checks should be made payable to Grand Rapids Community Foundation - please note La Lucha Fund in the memo line. If you prefer to make a gift over the phone, please contact Jenine Torres, development officer, at 616.284.4926 or jtorres@grfoundation.org.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. You will receive a receipt from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation for your gift with the required tax information.

Who can I contact if I have questions about La Lucha Fund?

If you have questions about giving, please contact Jenine Torres, development officer, at 616.284.4926 or jtorres@grfoundation.org.  For questions related to La Lucha Fund and its processes, please contact Erika VanDyke, program officer, at 616.284.4935 or evandyke@grfoundation.org.

What are the qualifications and processes to receive assistance from La Lucha Fund?

  • Live in Kent County

  • Be ineligible for government assistance, including unemployment, CARES Act relief, and other federal, state, or local government support

  • Complete an application, and speak with a La Lucha Fund representative to verify application information

How much assistance is available?

Approved families will receive a maximum of $500. One award will be made per family, on a one-time basis.

How will funds be disbursed?

Funds will be mailed to applicants in the form of a Visa gift card or check, depending on applicant preference. The use of gift cards was made possible through a partnership with Mercantile Bank of Michigan.

How long will it take for a family to receive support?

Visa gift cards or checks will be mailed within two weeks of the verification phone call as long as there is money in the fund.  If the fund is depleted, applicants will be added to a waiting list. As additional funds become available, applications from families with children will be prioritized on the waiting list.

What else is GRCF doing in response to COVID-19?

In addition to supporting La Lucha Fund, Grand Rapids Community Foundation is working in a variety of ways to respond to the pandemic. The Community Foundation is convening philanthropic, nonprofit and business partners to collaboratively respond to immediate needs and prepare for an extended response to address the near and long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the Community Foundation’s efforts, visit grfoundation.org/covid19

More About La Lucha Partners


Movimiento Cosecha

Cosecha is a nonviolent movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity, and respect for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Our name, "harvest" in Spanish, honors the long tradition of farmworker organizing and the present-day pain of the thousands of undocumented workers whose labor continues to feed the country. Committed to winning real victories for our community, Cosecha believes in using non-cooperation to leverage the power of immigrant labor and consumption and force a meaningful shift in public opinion.

Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network

We are neighbors in the Greater Grand Rapids Area who are supporting each other through the 2020 COVID19 crisis, or the Coronavirus. Click here for more information.

LatinxGR

LatinxGR was originally convened in 2018 as a way for five of the major Latinx leadership organizations in Grand Rapids to use their collective voice to strategize and advocate for our community. Together, we are powerful.

Hispanic Center of Western Michigan

The Hispanic Center of Western Michigan is a community-based, social impact organization with a mission to educate, advocate, and empower. The Hispanic Center directly serves more than 10,000 individuals annually, providing resource navigation, youth development programming, language services, and more. Our staff is largely bilingual and multicultural. We understand our Latinx neighbors, connect with them, and work to achieve self-sufficiency together.

Latino Community Coalition

The Latino Community Coalition serves as a unifying force for the equitable advancement of Latinos in West Michigan. For over a decade, we have create spaces for Latinx individuals in nonprofit and other sectors to connect and collaborate. The LCC also serves as an accountability partner to influence key decisions taking place related to diversity, equity and inclusion of the Latino community in West Michigan. We believe in the power and potential of our community, and we are proud to work for their advancement.

Latina Network of West Michigan

The Latina Network of West Michigan is a collective of women designed to lift up Latina leadership by serving as a resource for racial equity, advocacy, and connections. The Latina Network is a catalyst for systemic change through leadership development, a space of cultural belonging, and reclaiming the Latina narrative.

West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to working with all members of the community to increase the economic advancement of Hispanic owned businesses and to assist the professional growth of Hispanic business leaders in West Michigan.

West Michigan Latino Network

The West Michigan Latino Network is a collective that creates spaces in West Michigan, where men from diverse Latino backgrounds can thrive personally and professionally. We commit to breaking stereotypes and building community; as we live our values.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Grand Rapids Community Foundation leads Kent County in making positive, sustainable change. With its endowment, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. For more information, please visit grfoundation.org.

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