September Notes from NMIC 2021

Dear Friend,

In this newsletter, you’ll read more about: 

  • How NMIC supported Yanira on her journey towards citizenship. 
  • Our inspiring and dedicated community member turned intern, Joanel. 
  • The exciting hands-on opportunity to join NMIC’s Advisory Board. 
Meet Yanira

Since immigrating to the U.S., Yanira has been working hard to achieve her goal of becoming a citizen. Last year, she improved her English comprehension by participating in our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course and studied for the naturalization exam by joining our Citizenship Preparation classes. We are overjoyed to report that this past August, Yanira became a citizen and attended her Oath of Allegiance ceremony. She shared with us the above picture and the following message: “I am eternally grateful for NMIC for providing the right combination of classes that together removed the obstacle to reaching our dreams.”  

We offer services that support our clients on their paths to more prosperous futures. Armed with her citizenship and improved English-language skills, Yanira can now vote, engage in civic duties, and enjoying the many benefits allotted to U.S. Citizens. 

Join us in congratulating her! 

Our Intern, Joanel

Joanel just ended his internship at NMIC but his relationship with us began when he was a child. His parents and older siblings, who had immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, enrolled in our immigration services program to become US citizens. And, in a full-circle moment, Joanel worked alongside the NMIC attorney who had helped his family obtain their citizenship, Aleida Sainz. Of his time working with us, he said, “I am proud to have contributed to an organization that actively addresses the issues I’ve had to combat my entire life. I will be the first college graduate in my family, and I plan on pursuing a career as a paralegal to continue the work I began at NMIC.”  

If, like Joanel, you would like to get involved, keep reading to find out how.  

NMIC’s Advisory Board (NAB)

NMIC is looking for dedicated professionals committed to our mission to join our Advisory Board. Participants will enhance their resumes, fulfill their passion to serve, and gain hands-on volunteer experience. NAB members will have opportunities to interact with our staff and network with the Board of Directors as they support NMIC’s overall goals through social media, individual fundraising, service activities, and fundraising events. To apply, fill out this application and send your resume to NAB@nmic.org. We will begin interviews in October!  


Interested in other ways to help? With just $5 per month you can become a sustaining donor to help us remain responsive in times of crisis. 

Become a monthly sustainer now. 
 
Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

August 2021 Notes from NMIC

Dear Friend:

In this newsletter:

  • NMIC’s collaboration with organizers of the 21st annual Brides’ March bringing forth advocacy efforts against domestic violence. 
  • Since last October we have distributed over $20,000 worth of pet food to our four-legged friends. 
  • Meet Ernesto, our community member. 
  • Learn how you can get involved!
NMIC Joins the Brides’ March


NMIC is proud to, once again, collaborate with other community-based organizations, activists, and the Ricart family in the planning and carrying out of the 21st annual Brides’ March. The march was established in 2001 to honor Gladys Ricart, a Dominican woman from Washington Heights, murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend on her wedding day. Every year, the march brings together survivors and advocates to fight for a world free of domestic violence. We will begin this year’s march at 8am at the Holyrod Episcopal Church at 715 W 179th Street in Washington Heights. For more information, visit their website.

Through NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project, we provide counseling, safety planning, support groups, legal assistance and so much more because survivors and their families deserve safety and healing.

NMIC & The Hungry Pet Project


Since last October, NMIC and The Hungry Pet Project have distributed over $20,000 worth of pet food. That translates to 5,809 pounds of canned food and over 13,000 pounds of dry food. We are honored that our partnership has helped us amplify our impact to reach our beloved four-legged family members! 

Learn more about The Hungry Pet Project

Meet Ernesto


Before the pandemic Ernesto worked in a hotel, which has since closed because of last year’s shutdown. These last eighteen months have been challenging for him. Ernesto is experiencing food insecurity and the financial hardship of losing employment. His stress is compounded by the uncertainty of his employment future. Unfortunately, stories like Ernesto’s are far too common. 

Our communities specifically represent some of the highest socioeconomic need in New York City and include 9 of the top 10 (out of 59 total) NYC community districts with the highest percentage of residents living below the federal poverty level. Without support, our community members are forced to choose between paying their rent or buying groceries. No one should have to choose between the two but many are. 

At NMIC, we help alleviate immediate crisis and once resolved – we provide our clients with wrap-around holistic services as they define their own goals to reach a more sustainable future. Our food pantry allows Ernesto to use his restricted income for other necessities. We cannot do this work without your support; read below about ways you can make a difference. 

Get Involved

The Excluded Workers Fund is New York’s largest cash relief program for workers. We are committed to ensuring that these eligible excluded workers can access critical relief. 

You can do your part, too. Repost this photo on social media and encourage your followers to do the same. Applications for the Excluded Workers Fund are now open. To learn about qualifications, haz clic aquí.

The NMIC Advisory Board (NAB) is launching and we are inviting you to learn more about this opportunity. NAB is a group of dedicated professionals who are committed to NMIC’s mission to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of our community members all the while enhancing your resume, fulfilling your passion to serve, and gain hands-on volunteer experience! To apply please fill out esta aplicación y envíe su currículum a NAB@nmic.org

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

We are Finalists in Inaugural NYC Imagine Awards

We are honored to announce our nomination for the Innovation Award category of The Inaugural NYC Imagine Awards. “It means that the Organization has been identified as a leader in the NYC metro area, exhibiting impactful and innovative operations,” said Ken Cerini, Founder of the Long Island and NYC Imagine Awards. The nomination highlights our collaboration with the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on the Northern Manhattan, Harlem, and South Bronx Community COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling Hotline

We are also competing for the Fan Favorite award, which comes with a $3,000 winning prize. That’s where you come in. You can help NMIC win by clicking this link and voting every day. 

ABOUT THE IMAGINE AWARDS
El Imagine Awards is the premier event that shines the spotlight on the nonprofit sector. NMIC was nominated to receive the Innovation Award for our partnership with the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in creating a model for a community-based hotline that has scheduled over 20,000 appointments.

NMIC’s Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, says, “We repeatedly heard from our residents that scheduling vaccinations was challenging due to both language and technological barriers. We are proud to collaborate with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to eliminate those barriers and secure more than 15,000 appointments for our residents within two months of implementation. A vaccinated community is a safe community, and NMIC is helping make sure we don’t leave any neighbors behind.” To learn more about the Imagine Awards, haz clic aquí.

NMIC Named as Finalist in Inaugural NYC Imagine Awards

Media Contact

Hillary Needle
Hillary Needle Events Inc.
516-993-4056 | Hillary@hillaryneedleevents.com

Rosanna Montilla-Payano
Director of Development, NMIC
212-822-8328 | rosannamontilla@nmic.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NMIC NAMED AS FINALIST IN
INAUGURAL NYC IMAGINE AWARDS
NYC Imagine Awards Winners to Be Announced on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at The Edison Ballroom

New York, NY –August 31 2021– NMIC was named a Finalist in the Innovation Award category in The Inaugural NYC Imagine Awards. The NYC Imagine Awards was created to offer formal acknowledgement to some of NYC metro’s most effective and innovative nonprofit organizations.  The success of the Long Island Imagine Awards, now in its 10th year, inspired founder Ken Cerini, CPA, Cerini & Associates LLP, to bring this innovative and inspiring event to NYC to shine a spotlight on the incredible nonprofits in and around the city.  The Inaugural NYC Imagine Awards nonprofit competition will take place on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at The Edison Ballroom, 6-10pm. 

More than 270 entries were submitted for consideration in 5 categories, including Innovation, Leadership Excellence, Rising Star, Social Impact and Arts & Culture. NMIC is one of four finalists in the Innovation Award category.

The Northern Manhattan, Harlem, and South Bronx Community COVID-19 Vaccination Scheduling Hotline is a collaboration between NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and NMIC to provide a wide array of services for these communities. The hotline was launched to proactively reach residents, many of whom have limited access to technology, and help them easily make appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The hotline is unique because it is tailored specifically to the Latinx community by defaulting to the Spanish language (with an English option). It is staffed by a dozen bilingual community members and provides access to free rides to and from appointments (via a collaboration with Lyft). 

Maria Lizardo, Executive Director at NMIC, explains: “Prior to launching our hotline with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, we repeatedly heard from our residents that scheduling vaccinations was challenging due to both  language and technological barriers in making appointments. We are proud that we were able to collaborate with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to eliminate those barriers and secure more than 15,000 appointments for our residents within two months of implementation. A vaccinated community is a safe community, and NMIC is helping make sure we don’t leave any neighbors behind.”

Finalists were chosen by NYC business and nonprofit professionals during preliminary judging. Members of the Awards’ Distinguished Judging Panel selected the NYC Imagine Awards winners from among the Finalists during final judging.

“Being named a Finalist in NYC Imagine Awards is an important achievement,” said Ken Cerini, Founder of the Long Island and NYC Imagine Awards.  “It means that the Organization has been identified as a leader in the NYC metro area, exhibiting impactful and innovative operations.  Congratulations to all of the Finalists on their achievement.”

Details about NYC Imagine Awards and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at https://nycimagineawards.com/

About NMIC
Established in 1979 to support low-income tenants in Upper Manhattan, our mission is to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the lives of members of our community on their paths to secure and prosperous futures. We provide crisis intervention with legal or social services such as eviction prevention and cash/food relief. We then support clients as they define and achieve their own goals—generally through education, workforce training, and/or community organizing. Our staff of 140 attorneys, advocates, organizers, counselors, educators, etc., serve about 14,000 clients each year with a variety of programs to address Housing, Immigration, Education/Career, Finance/Benefits, Health, and Holistic needs.

About The Imagine Awards
The Imagine Awards was created in 2012 for Long Island by Managing Partner, Ken Cerini of Cerini & Associates, LLP.  Its continued success prompted the expansion into the NYC metro area to honor organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them. The NYC Imagine Awards recognizes outstanding nonprofit performances in the region. Learn more about the NYC Imagine Awards, visit https://nycimagineawards.com/

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July’s Notes from NMIC

Before continuing to read, we invite you to close your eyes and take one (or three) deep, intentional, grounding breaths.

July is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Month. Mental health stressors affect us all and BIPOC have to also deal with racism, anti-immigration sentiment, xenophobia, and societal inequities. These systems disproportionately have a negative impact on our community members’ earning potential and make accessing housing, food, and financial security unatainable. These factors, along with stigma and the lack of culturally competent mental health practitioners in the area, pose barriers to practicing good mental health for our residents.

To varying degrees, COVID-19 has made life harder for all of us. Everyone has had to make a lot of adjustments to how we function in our day-to-day. Still, NMIC continues to provide our clients in crisis with a wide array of wrap around services that support their wellbeing.

In this Newsletter:

  • 12 youth residents earned their high school diplomas in our YouthBuild program. 
  • Our Mental Health Program is helping community members, like Mateo, improve coping skills and resiliency.  

Join us in congratulating our YouthBuild Graduates!

Join us in congratulating our 2021 YouthBuild graduates! Participants completed a five-month paid opportunity designed to support unemployed and out-of-school youth aged 17-24. This intensive program includes high school equivalency classes, career development, and job placement, as well as ongoing job retention and advancement services. Participants also receive trainings in small business ownership, digital literacy, and job readiness (such as resume preparation and practice for interviews).  

Reclaiming their education places clients on prosperous paths and increasing educational attainment in our area has a profound impact on our community’s wellness. Research shows that higher levels of education result in increased earning potential and self-esteem. We’re really proud of our graduates. Join us in wishing them well as they embark upon new endeavors. 

NMIC’s culturally competent Mental Health Program is changing lives

At NMIC, we understand that mental health can look different for people across different cultures and faiths so we prioritize delivering mental health services that are culturally competent, bilingual, and trauma informed. Accessing care that isn’t these things can further traumatize our community members and reinforce the negative stigma around going to therapy.   

When Mateo (name changed to protect anonymity) began weekly individual counseling with our mental health team eight months ago, he was going through an extremely difficult time. Mateo was an essential worker who tested positive for COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. Along with the isolation, sadness, and stress about not being able to work and the loss of income during quarantine, Mateo was also concerned about domestic violence. His abusive partner jeopardized Mateo’s ability to work by arriving to his places of employment and threatening his immigration status. 

Despite the fact that many of these stressors continue to be present in Mateo’s life, he tells us his 45-minute counseling sessions at NMIC give him the space and support to process what he is going through. He’s learned deep breathing strategies, reinforced healthy coping skills, improved his sleep hygiene, and enhanced his communication skills. Because of NMIC’s strategy to address multiple needs, we also connected Mateo to our Immigration Legal Services team and our Domestic Violence Project. Mateo is now receiving ongoing support as he takes the next steps to ensure his safety and continued wellbeing.  

Your support enhances our holistic approach to our community’s wellness that provide opportunities for our clients to increase their resiliency and coping skills while tackling other inequities like housing, financial, or food insecurity.

With gratitude,
The NMIC Team

The Moment is Now!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for joining nearly 200 attendees at The Moment is Now: A Virtual Benefit for NMIC.

We hope that you enjoyed the event and have gained a better understanding of the strength of our community over the last year. If you missed the live event or want to re-watch your favorite moments, you can view the recording online aquí.

Over $110,000 raised

Thanks to your generous support, we raised more than $110,000. These funds will enable NMIC to continue providing essential supportive services and, as a settlement house, it allows us to remain responsive to emerging community-wide needs. 

We also want to thank our host, Damaris Diaz, and our honorees Dr. Steven J. Corwin, CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian, and the Tenant Association of 894 Riverside Drive for sharing their stories and helping bring this event to life. 

Lastly, we want to give a final thank you to our staff for the inspiring work that fuels our organization, our Board of Directors for their relentless commitment to advance our vision, and of course our generous sponsors! 

With gratitude, 
Maria Lizard, LMSW
Directora ejecutiva

January’s Notes from NMIC 2021

Hey there,

According to the 2018 NYC Volunteers Count report an estimated 600,000 people volunteered their time to uplift a fellow New Yorker. Of those, 65% chose to directly impact their neighborhoods by volunteering for a local community-based organization. 

Every day, we witness the power of volunteers who have identified community-wide concerns and are taking actions. These actions make our work possible and helps us service over 14,000 clients annually. 

Read below for an update on the milestones you’ve helped us accomplish, a celebration of an unlikely partnership, and why volunteering your time can lead to new relationships, understanding of barriers, and more importantly – can support someone’s empowerment. On this Martin Luther King Jr.’s day, we reflect on the power of community action.

Honoring MLK Day of Service

In 1983, legistation was signed to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and designate a national day of service. The day’s slogan is “Make it a day on, not a day off.” During these challenging times, the work must continue. 

Soon, it will be a year since the pandemic began impacting our lives. As we reflect on a year filled with challenges and grief, we are reminded of the positive effect that strong community-wide efforts have. In 2020, you helped NMIC fight food insecurity by giving almost 700 hours of service. Of those who volunteered during our food pantry, more than half are recurring – volunteering two or more times. You distributed over 77,000 pounds of food to local families in need. 

We were flooded with requests from local community members and businesses who wanted to help. High-skilled volunteers donated their expertise to bring awareness to the unique experiences of our clients. We are truly grateful to everyone who took the time to share our content, volunteer their time, give advice, send a donation, and make a connection. 

Our community is resilient. There is more to be done and we know you will meet this moment. If you are interested in getting involved, email us at rosannamontilla@nmic.org. 

Volunteer Spotlight – Meet Caleb

Even as a freshman in high school, Caleb finds the time to volunteer – all while completing his school assigned reading. 

“I came to NMIC when Fort Washington Collegiate Church put out the call for volunteers. I keep coming back to NMIC, because I realized that it’s easy to make a difference right in my neighborhood. Especially during COVID, people need help more than ever. And I am proud to do this.” Caleb, we are proud of you! 

The Hungry Pet Project

We have seen images of, or personally experienced, extensive blocks-long lines of people waiting to pick up food at their local pantry. What is not often shown is how food insecurity is affecting our furry friends: family pets. A few months ago, we were approached by The Hungry Pet Project, Partnership for Shelter Animals NYC to distribute cat and dog food to families facing insecurity. A one-time donation evolved into a partnership that has now allowed us to provide a source of dependable pet food to our clients. 

The partnership’s goal is to help keep pets in their homes. According to The Hungry Pet Project, “No one should have to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their pets.” And what might a dog say before eating? Bone Appetite!  

If you’d like to help, you can purchase items from the Amazon Wish List curated by The Hungry Pet Project.

Yours in Community,
NMIC

Happy New Year

Dear Friends,

This year, the pandemic has brought us to a flashpoint, where community-wide efforts are pivotal to supporting one another, as we strive to meet health inequities with courage and unrelenting commitment. It is imperative that the work continues – thank you for your support and being a member of our community. 

We wish you a peaceful holiday and invite you to look ahead to a new year with purpose and intention.

Thank you for helping us create impactful partnerships and life-changing relationships.  

Yours in Community,
The NMIC Team

Giving Tuesday

Hi there,

Every year, millions of people come together on a single day to participate in a global act of generosity. That day is today, #GivingTuesday.

We know this year has been challenging for many of us in differing ways. Many of our clients found themselves unemployed, uninsured, and under-resourced even before the pandemic. With an increasing number of community members facing a crisis our work is more essential than ever. 

NMIC’s food pantry has served over 600 families since launching in May. Our pantries occur twice per month and we have distributed over 30,000 pounds of food. But, resources are limited and demand is much greater than we can meet. Even after adding an additional pantry distribution day, we continue to receive about 50-100 new sign-ups monthly from community residents. We cannot meet the demand without your support. 

There are two key ways to help right now. 

  1. Make a donation to NMIC today! 
  2. If you can’t make a donation, reach-out to loved ones via social media, phone, or email, urging them to support the 14,000 New Yorkers NMIC serves a year. Tag us at @NMICNYC. 

Can we count on you today?

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

November Notes from NMIC 2020

Hi there,

This month, most Americans turn their attention to practicing gratitude, which can be both challenging and deeply healing in the wake of a global crisis. In this newsletter, we’re focusing on the gratitude we feel for all of you, our community of supporters, clients, donors, volunteers, and staff. You are essential to all that we do. 

We’re sharing our gratitude for all that your support has helped us accomplish this month.

  • You have helped bring Thanksgiving dinners to 112 families. And, in this month, 300 more will receive food through our normally scheduled food pantry!
  • Our staff brings mental health care into community member’s homes remotely.
  • Help us expand access to immediate life changing services.

Food for our Community

The global economic crisis has hit those at the margins hardest. So, when community member Karima Khawja came to us with an idea to host a Turkey Drive, we were excited to partner with her. With your help we were able to raise over $5,000!

Though the Turkey Drive is over, we are still very much on the front lines of battling food insecurity one bag of food at a time. Our pantries occur twice per month serving 300 clients. Resources are limited and the need is great. Unfortunately, we are receiving about 50-100 new sign-ups per month from community residents. We cannot meet the demand without your support.

Donate now

Our Wonderful Staff & Clients

We are proud to be an organization staffed and run by people who come from the community we serve. We are able to give our clients culturally sensitive care in the language they speak at home. Our team is entirely dedicated to and enmeshed in our community’s successes. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our staff has risen together to make incredible moves, from integrating our Food Pantry into a regularly scheduled program to the creation of hotlines to keep our services safely available. We are also honored to represent a space where people feel they can address their crises and know they’ll be heard and assisted. Just like Miriam*. Suffering from panic attacks that landed her in the emergency room, when our Community Health Workers’ team called Miriam, she was distressed and in tears. Mounting coronavirus deaths, having to juggle a home life that now included children at home full-time, she felt her mental health worsening. Our staff member provided a listening ear and thoughtful support. At the end of the call, Miriam said she felt better and was grateful for the check-in which she indicated always made her feel calmer. 

Your end of year gift will enable us to continue to provide our community members with the personal health support they need to keep their families safe and healthy.
*Name has been changed to protect our client’s privacy.

Donate now 

Giving Tuesday is December 1st this Year

Every year, millions of people come together on a single day to participate in a global act of generosity. That day is known as #GivingTuesday, and this year it’s tomorrow, December 1st. We know this year has been challenging for many of us in differing ways.

Many of our clients found themselves unemployed, uninsured, and under-resourced even before the pandemic. Now, their need is even greater. With an increasing number of community members facing unemployment, food insecurity, domestic violence, and financial difficulties, our work is more essential than ever. 

Now is the time to start reaching out to loved ones via social media, the phone, or email, urging them to join you in supporting the 12,000 New Yorkers NMIC serves a year. Use the graphic below and tag us at @NMICNYC.Donate now 

Yours in Solidarity,
NMIC

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