We Have Had to Repurpose Organizational Infrastructure for Pressing Pandemic Relief Needs
We Have Had to Repurpose Organizational Infrastructure for Pressing Pandemic Relief Needs:
Normally we are an immigrant worker center focusing on giving counseling, mediation, advocacy, and legal support to immigrant workers experiencing violations of their labor rights, and also support on immigration matters. We do a great deal of organizing of workers for systemic change. The Pandemic-related emergency created in our community has required us to repurpose our organization to meet new crisis needs we see all around us. We have ramped up our food pantry operation mainly with the use of a team of 25 or so dedicated volunteers, who together with our own staff as supervisors send probably 40% of their worktime accumulating food resources each week and distributing them efficiently to community members. Like many other non-profits, this effort has not been one of our regular programs in the past. We also operate a modest home delivery system for those who are sick from COVID-19 and cannot visit us in Allston-Brighton. This is hard work, of course: it can be emotionally wrenching, but also there is the fear of infection, and the need to maintain careful safety precautions during our interactions with hundreds of visitors.