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04 Feb 23 116 0 0

Grassroot Projects helps immigrant families

Cool Story - Grassroot Projects helps immigrant families

Last winter, 37-year-old Joanna Lopez and her husband both contracted COVID-19 and were unable to leave the house for work. They were concerned about how they would support their five children, which also included a baby and a toddler.

The Grassroot Projects intervened at that point. In addition to funding extracurricular activities, the Indiana nonprofit also sends care packages containing toiletries, clothing, baby formula, and school supplies to children from immigrant households.

The care package offered Lopez, whose family is from Honduras, a lifeline. By having diapers, wipes, clothing, and kids’ jackets delivered to Lopez's front door by volunteers, she was able to stay at home while ill.

Lopez, a volunteer at the Immigrant Welcome Center, stated, "I never believed I was going to be the one who needed the help. When we needed them the most, they were there.”

The narrative was being told by Lopez as she stood inside a modest storage facility in Carmel, where volunteers usually assemble to collect clothing and supplies from rows of bins and pack them into cardboard boxes to be given to needy families. Many of the items are brand new, while others are donated, lightly worn items.

More or less, the storage facility acts as the headquarters for Grassroot Projects. To cut down on overhead costs, the nonprofit does not have a physical address.

According to Priya Gangwani, president and co-founder of Grassroot Projects, "where all the activity happens is our storage unit in Carmel."

Mothers and people of color make up the majority of the organization's volunteers, according to Gangwani. They have volunteers who speak local languages from nations like Nigeria, Myanmar/Burma, and Haiti in addition to Spanish.

That is but one method by which the foundation can assist various immigrant families. According to Gangwani, language issues frequently make it difficult for families to communicate once they arrive in the country. They are also unsure of whom to turn to for assistance.

After graduating from an Indian physical therapy program, Gangwani, 42, enrolled as an international student in Indiana.

She met her roommate Nimisha Goyal when she returned to India. In the end, both chose to enroll at the University of Indianapolis.

They, therefore, decided to start Grassroot Projects in 2017. While Gangwani manages the Indianapolis region, Goyal manages an identical operation in Seattle. In addition to sending care packages, the charity pays for two months of classes for children who want to sign up for activities like swimming or karate.

A $15,000 grant was given to Grassroot Projects during the last Season for Sharing campaign.

Generally speaking, the process is quite simple: "We ask the family what they need and we give it to them," said Gangwani.

And if an immigrant family is stranded at home without access to transportation, as was the case for Lopez last winter, there is no issue because the Grassroot Projects will deliver the box to their door.

According to Lopez, "Grassroot Projects" has a connection with immigrant families that other organizations don't. Because Priya herself is an immigrant, they trust her more.

Organization's mission:

By removing obstacles and giving children the tools they need to realize their full potential while still enjoying their childhoods, Grassroot Projects builds and supports egalitarian communities for immigrant and refugee children.

How many people do they serve?

The nonprofit offers monthly services to 35 families in Indiana. By the end of October 2022, that equates to 1,658 individuals, including 938 kids. (Grassroot Projects also assists residents of Washington, but those figures are not presented here.)

About Grassroot Projects

Address: The nonprofit does not maintain a physical address.

Phone: 317-622-6940 (but email is best: info@grassrootprojects.org)

Website: https://www.grassrootprojects.org/

Contact IndyStar investigative reporter Ryan Martin at ryan.martin@indystar.com or by phone, Signal, or WhatsApp at 317-500-4897. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter: @ryanmartin.

The above article is selected by CoolDeeds.org. The information and the assets belong to their respective owners (original link).

 


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