HALF MOON BAY STRONG FUND STATEMENT
Thank You! ALAS has felt all the love and care during this tragedy that has deeply impacted our community in so many ways. The response has been overwhelmingly caring and impactful as we work to continue to heal, advocate and improve the lives’ of our farmworkers.
Every dollar raised for our HMB Strong Fund will go directly to victims, their families, and all farmworkers that were affected. We are pleased to share that as of today, February 13, our ALAS HMB Strong fund has raised over $300k to support the immediate crisis. We will continue to get funds out quickly as the needs are urgent and critical. We have been working closely with the City of HMB who are now opening their own Coastside Victims Fund that will support those affected for long term support. Given our collaboration, ALAS is closing our HMB Strong Fund for new donations but will continue to distribute all funds to victims.
As we have been doing, ALAS will continue to support our farmworkers through our ongoing ALAS’ Farmworker Fund which supports the needs of our entire Farmworker Coastside community. Thank you for your ongoing support to make a difference for those that work so hard for all of us.
To learn more about the City of Half Moon Bay Victim Fund please visit their website here.
Having closed our online donation, we continue to accept checks, food cards, gas cards, and other gift cards. All donations earmarked for the HMB Strong Fund will be designated to our continued work with the victims. Please contact us if you have any questions!
OUR ALAS STATEMENT
ALAS is moved by the love, care and outpouring of support for the victims of the tragedy at the mushroom farms in our beautiful community of the Coastside. Our ALAS team is heartbroken as we knew and worked with the individuals, families and children living on the Hwy 92 farms since COVID began. We embraced the beauty of working with two cultures, coming together with different languages and traditions. Their smiles, joy and trust with us grew over the years. Our care and advocacy transcended barriers. As we walk down the long road with the families there and outreach to workers from Hwy 1, we are reminded of how we began and the relentless advocacy we have done- putting ourselves in many spaces to fight for farm worker human rights. While we are known for our Latino centered work, ALAS has always served anyone needing services, including our Asian farmworkers in farms we have access to serve. Since December 31 when the floods began until today our ALAS team has given all we can to be there for the community during the crisis’.
WHERE WE BEGAN
Since 2013 our ALAS grassroots non profit began with programs of mental health, the arts, education, immigration and social services. At the onset of the COVID crisis when others sheltered in place, our Coastside farm workers were on the front lines out in the field, growing food for all of us. ALAS went out to be with them providing PPE, food, resources and cheering them on with our Farmworker Friday lunches. It was at this time that our Farmworker program was born. We began it as a response to being there for one of the most isolated and vulnerable groups on the Coast. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Farmers that have opened the doors for us to work alongside them. ALAS has provided weekly support with a myriad of resources, including basic needs, weekly food delivery, educational workshops, mental health, accompaniment, connecting with San Mateo County leaders and services to increase healthcare access. Many of you from around the Bay Area and beyond have generously supported our work to the 23 farms we visit weekly.
At all times we have put advocacy at the forefront. Our team has raised critical issues at the local and state level. We have spoken at countless presentations, conferences and have worked with political leaders- telling the story of urgent changes that need to be made. We have highlighted the need for mental health services through research and practice which is a glaring gap for workers across the country. We have talked about the need for increased pay, better living conditions, free medical insurance and have regularly fought for housing. We have developed a state of the art double decker “Equity Express Bus” in partnership with Life Sciences, Gilead, Genentech and other partners to take services directly to the farms. A year ago we began a once a month housing march in downtown HMB, highlighting testimonios from the community. We now add the fight for gun reform to the list. Looking back in history, we are energized by the advocacy of the Bracero Movement, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong and many others demanding change. ALAS staff and Board have stood for change on the Coast and will not stop. The time for change has always been and continues to be in 2023.
These were not just workers for us. As our Farm Worker team (Joaquin Jimenez, Norma Zavala and Jorge Sanchez) shared this week “this was our family”.
HMB STRONG FUND
ALAS takes very seriously the trust you have put in us to deliver direct funds and support to the community of farm workers that are suffering. Thanks to each of you for your donation and words of care. With this fund we will be giving direct funds/economic relief, rental support, funeral assistance, basic needs resources, mental health, and other needs for the individuals and families that arise. Please know we are relentlessly committed to being here for the immediate and long term support to ensure your care is given. We thank all of our partners that make our work of ALAS possible. We will continue to share updates and will provide transparency of services provided to all those impacted, both Asian and Latino. We stand together. Estamos Contigo
SAY THEIR NAMES
Zhi Shen Liu, 73
Ai Xiang Zhang, 74
Qi Zhong Cheng, 66
Ye Tao Bing, 43
Jing Zhi Lu, 64
Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50
Jose Romero Perez, 37
Dr. Belinda Hernandez Arriaga, Ed.D., L.C.S.W.