Laura Pichardo-Cruz
Laura Pichardo-Cruz

Dear Friends of Hope CommUnity Center:

“We perceive a world in which everyone sits at the table together, with enough for everyone.”  -Joy Harjo

In the three months since I joined the family at HCC, the world has been overwhelmed by an unprecedented global health crisis.  COVID-19 has caused us all profound anxiety about our health, as well as that of our loved ones.  Our lives have been disrupted by a situation that can sometimes feel surreal.  The pandemic has also placed a tremendous strain on the economy and has forced thousands of Floridians to apply for unemployment compensation and public assistance.  For the immigrant and working poor communities of Central Florida, coronavirus has exacerbated a situation made nearly unbearable by an intense campaign of fear and intimidation, and an unrelenting assault on the social safety net.

Here at HCC, the crisis has forced us to rethink how we provide services to the community, as priorities rapidly shift and “social distancing” has complicated our traditional approaches to outreach and programming.  These challenges, however, have not dimmed the passion and dedication of the HCC staff.  Even as we face the physical closure of our offices and the isolation from our colleagues, our staff has continued to work for those who have been rendered most vulnerable by this epidemic.  We have educated ourselves on the evolving legal and social issues affecting our community, made countless calls to program participants, distributed food to the most needy, and developed creative ways to provide virtual outreach and education to the community.  In short, HCC is very much at work!

We have been forced to adapt to a new reality, but we are committed to meeting this challenge.  Of course, HCC, like most nonprofits, has had to navigate immediate and long term financial concerns brought on by this crisis.  We will do everything in our power to continue serving the community and doing right by our staff.  In our 49 year history, we have met every challenge with a combination of creativity and determination.  Although this crisis is unprecedented on many levels, HCC will corral the ideas and efforts of our talented staff to ensure that every one of us can “sit at the table.”

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Hope CommUnity Center.  We hope that you and yours remain safe and healthy in the midst of these challenging times.

With gratitude,

Laura Pichardo-Cruz
Executive Director, Hope CommUnity Center

If you are in a place of giving during this time of need, please consider contributing to HCC and thank you again for your contributions, prayer, and encouragement.