Sri Lanka Association Helps Expats Who Lost their Jobs to COVID-19
Sunday Times – May 17, 2020
By Thalif Deen
NEW YORK — The spreading coronavirus pandemic, which has upended the lives of millions in the US, has also left over a dozen Sri Lankan expats without jobs or incomes. But the Sri Lanka Association of New York (SLANY) has risen to the occasion by raising nearly $6,000 to help the needy. The targeted goal was $10,000.
So far, a total of $5,900, from 37 generous donors, has been distributed among 17 needy recipients living in the Tri state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.Each of these recipients received an amount between $300 and $500 based on their circumstances. The Association also made a donation to offset funeral expenses of a COVID-19 victim.
A total of 28 applicants were received through the SLANY website (https://www.slanyusa.org/fundraiser.html). Applicants eligibility for support were evaluated based on a multiple set of circumstantial factors that included: current income; number of dependents living with them; living expenses; health issues of the applicant or family member, and any other sources of support currently being received. Only applicants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic were considered. Each applicant was contacted directly by a SLANY committee member, and in certain instances information provided was verified using other sources. The applicants included those who had been living in the US for over 20 years versus those who had only been in the country for 2 months. All the applicants had come to America with a dollar and a dream. They were all working in mostly hourly-paid positions and had lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Most of them had families and no savings. There were several with health issues and needed help. After losing their jobs , most applicants did not have money for rent or food—and were very appreciative of the efforts of SLANY.
The Sri Lanka Association of New York (SLANY), the oldest association in the area was created in 1970 to serve the needs of the Sri Lankan community in the Tri State. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, need any further information or make a donation.
UPDATE: We had an overwhelming number of applicants for the pandemic relief assistance (over 60). The members of the committee vetted each applicant thoroughly and identified 26 of the most needy and distributed ($9,600) funds received from all the generous donors. SLANY will not be entertaining any new requests for funding.
SLANY thanks all the generous donors without whose support this project wouldn’t have taken place. It was gratifying to witness all the emotions expressed by the recipients who wanted us to convey their blessings to all concerned.
Words of gratitude from the recipients:
- “We were compelled to leave Sri Lanka during the latter part of last year due to unavoidable circumstances. The United States was our destination. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 epidemic went in full swing soon after we arrived. With almost all Government establishments and businesses closed we were unable to process our papers but had to rely on minimal standards. The odd-jobs and makeshift employments disappeared pushing us from the frying pan into the fire. Professional backgrounds back at home were immaterial. Without leaving us stranded in a foreign land with unknown people, the SLANY came forward to help us. Your valuable support was great. It helped us to ease some of the burning issues we had.”
- “Thank you so much for your kindness and help at this moment!”
- “ඔබ සියළු දෙනාටම බොහොම ස්තුතියි” (Thank you everyone)
- “පින්සිදු වෙනවා ඔක්කොමල්ලාටම” (May the good deed you have done bring blessings to you all)
- “Thank you all for your generosity”
- “Thank you so much, this will definitely help me to get by”
- “May god bless you all for what you have done”
- “Thank you for your kindness in this situation!”