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August 2014 President’s Message
Funders Come Together to Support Refugee Children

Over the past several months, stories about children from Central America apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border have dominated the headlines. Sadly, children have been making this long and dangerous journey alone and unaccompanied for years as they flee horrific violence in their home countries. Recently, however, the violence has reached new levels, and the number of refugee children crossing the border has more than doubled to 63,000 in the past year. The situation has become a humanitarian crisis.

Los Angeles is home to one of the largest Central American communities in the nation. While the federal government initially houses the children in shelters across the country, many are eventually released to families and sponsors here while they await deportation hearings. Upon release, the children are in great need of such services as healthcare, mental health counseling, social services, and legal representation. Many might have viable claims for asylum and would face abuse and even death should they be sent back to their home countries.

With the belief that all children deserve to be protected from violence, illness and injury, Weingart Foundation is proud to partner with the California Community Foundation and other leading philanthropic organizations in the creation of a new fund to help respond to this crisis. Specifically, the Our Children Relief Fund will assist nonprofits that are providing critical services to the refugee children. Information regarding the funding process will be shared at a later date, as we continue to assess this critical issue. We will be posting further updates in the months ahead.

For more information about the Our Children Relief Fund, click here.

Fred Ali
President & CEO