For more than 20 years, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!), has played a crucial role in the American dream.
“¡HICA! was founded to support the people choosing to make the journey to come to this country,” said Isabel Rubio, ¡HICA!’s founder and Executive Director. “We set out to create a framework for the community on the on the front end of things so that we don’t marginalize folks as they are trying to make their way.”
As a United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) partner agency, the nonprofit utilizes innovative approaches, including financial-literacy education, immigration support, policy work and microlending, to bolster the community. “We’ve been helping people buy homes and start businesses for years,” said Rubio. “I believe helping people get access to capital is transformational to the community.”
And Rubio said the Latino immigrant community has been hit especially hard by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “Black and brown communities have been hit the hardest, both in terms of infection rates as well as in terms of issues like unemployment and food and housing insecurity,” she said.
¡HICA! has been hard at work to support the Hispanic community throughout this difficult time. Although the organization does not typically focus on translation, it has worked to ensure that crucial COVID-19 information is provided in languages other than English. And in addition to the longtime UWCA partner agency’s annual allocation, ¡HICA! has received approximately $25,000 in grants from UWCA’s Community Crisis Fund to support its work through these unprecedented times.
“Our support from UWCA’s Community Crisis Fund went right back out the door through funds to help with rent, utilities and other critical basic needs,” said Rubio. “United Way has always been a really important partner for ¡HICA!, but during this time especially.”
Every day, UWCA’s network of more than 80 partner agencies and programs helps make hope happen in communities throughout Central Alabama, all thanks to the generosity donors, large and small, who want to make a difference in others’ lives and invest in our future.
You, too, can make hope happen! Please visit uwca.org/give.