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Immigrant Rights Action awarded national grant

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Doylestown nonprofit Immigrant Rights Action has received a $10,000 grant from a national foundation to further its emergency cash assistance program for people excluded from federal and state COVID-19 aid due to immigration status.
 
In May, Immigrant Rights Action was one of 30 community-based groups statewide to participate in the PA Immigrant Relief Fund, identifying 19 area households in urgent need of assistance and overseeing the distribution of one-time cash grants of $800 to help with food and rent. An additional $3,000 for emergency financial assistance was awarded to the volunteer-based group by the PHL-COVID19 Fund, a joint venture between the Philadelphia Foundation and United Way.
 
This successful track record helped the three-year-old nonprofit secure further support from the California-based Hispanics in Philanthropy, whose Essential Fund application process prioritized “organizations with deep and trusted ties to the communities in which they operate and who have the ability to support – in the form of cash assistance – individuals and families most in need, with the goal of continually building power in our communities.”
 
This week, Immigrant Rights Action invited the pastors of four Bucks County Hispanic churches and ministries to identify members of their congregations in particularly desperate need of financial assistance at a time when many have lost their livelihoods or had work hours reduced owing to pandemic closings.
 
Among the four was Casa del Pueblo, an 11-year-old Latino ministry sponsored by Lehman Memorial UMC in Hatboro, where the Rev. Lucrecia (Luky) Cotto serves as pastor; she also oversees Casa’s satellite congregation at St. Paul’s UMC in Warrington, where her husband, the Rev. Irving Cotto, is the pastor.
 
The two are active at the state and national levels in the United Methodist Church, and Luky was recently named coordinator of Latino Ministries for its Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
 
“We are deeply grateful for the ability to support two families facing very straining circumstances,” Luky said. This action on your part reminds us of Jesus who said in Matthew 25:40, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”
 

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