If you are inclined to do something for others this Holiday Season, here are some ideas that we believe will directly assist Hispanic/Latino families and businesses in Georgia:
a) Pick the Tab For Struggling Families
Many schools will have families that are enrolled in the reduced lunch program. Many of those families can not even afford to pay the outstanding balances that keep mounting and may create embarrasing moments for children when reminded of the debt. Ask your local school for information on how to pay for some of those families accounts with balances. As general information, Hispanics are an important percentage in most Gwinnett County Schools with some schools in Dekalb County almost 85% Hispanic, including a school in dire need Cary Reynolds Elementary. Other schools in Dekalb include Montclair Elementary, Dresden Elementary, Sequoya Middle, Cross Keys High School, etc. In the North Atlanta Cluster, it is estimated there are around 1,700 Latino students in the Fulton schools of Bolton Academy, E. Rivers, Morris Brandon, Warren T.J, Sutton Middle School and North Atlanta High School (data by La Amistad)
The cities of Gainesville and Dalton have majority of Latinos in all their schools and Athens also has a large percentage (in general, the percentage of Latinos in schools has doubled from 6% to 13% in the last 10 years). You can have more information on the maps below HERE.
b) Offer Gift Cards and Consider Hosting a Homeless Student
Many students in local schools stay with relatives or friends as their parents have been deported, are in detention or perhaps came alone. They are usually middle and high school students. Ask the social worker at your local school if there are children with these characteristics and consider purchasing gift cards for them so they can be occupied during the day when school is out. Many of them can find a place to sleep but do not have a place to stay during the day. The movies, some shopping, a museum, a restaurant, they are all options to escape the cold and engage in some fun. The best idea? Invite them to spend the day with you!
c) Buy From a Local Entrepreneur
Consider gifting a pack of fun business and calling cards designed and printed by a local Latinx, presenting a fruit arrangements, having your party catered by a Latinx Chef or restaurant, buy some fun t-shirts or accessories from a local designer or gifting delicious Hispanic owned Bourbon! The possibilities are ENDLESS! Look through your contacts and pick a friend or acquantaince that offers a service or product and suppor them. Do not ask for a discount, remember that every time we support small businesses, you are supporting families directly! Want to share your good wishes with the entire community? Buy an ad from locally owned newspapers El Nuevo Georgia and La Vision de Georgia
d) Honor Your Family and Friends by Donating to a Local Grassroots Non-Profit
Ask the people that need it most who helps them or helps their friends and neighbords… Donate to them and tell your friends and family that you are donating in their honor. Many organizations have been collecting gift cards and toys but money is always king and it goes a long way for the most pressing needs in their daily work.