Heather Vaikona, president and CEO of the non profit Lift to Rise says they were already fighting for the most vulnerable in the valley but COVID-19 has not only unleashed a health crisis but an economic one too, “So when we think about increased stressed increased stressed and the volume of both layoffs and furloughs and the public health impact it’s a really, really difficult time particularly for low income residents.”
That’s why they’ve stepped up their efforts to link people with resources. Their website Lift To Rise .org / Protection is a one stop shop to finding what you need to get through.
“So if you go to that web page it lists, it categorizes the different forms of public assistance and also the different available forms of public assistance and also the other resources that are available in the community,” says Vaikona.
She says people need cash in hand now, “You can imagine for folks who have lost their job who have access to food not have any disposable cash to make emergency decisions.”
To help families now, they’re launching the Economic Protection Plan Support Fund and need the community to step up with them to match donations and reach a $2 million goal. The fund got off the ground with the generous support and partnerships of The Regional Access Project Foundation, Desert Healthcare District, United Way of the Desert and the Inland Empire Community Foundation.
“Our goal there is to then connect as many folks as possible to $200 to emergency cash assistance,” she says, adding you can donate on their Facebook page,on their website Lift To Rise, or at United Way of the Desert Economic Support Plan to help your neighbors during this time of hardship, “we belong to each other, we are each other’s keeper, there’s not anything we can do in life that’s more important or significant than caring for each other.”
To donate click here: United Way of the Desert / Economic Support Plan
To get assistance click here: Lift To Rise / Protection