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February 14, 2018
Fig Bethlehem 2018 Social Mission Partner: Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley
Out of many submissions and much deliberation, we’re excited to announce that we chose Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley to be our Fig Bethlehem 2018 Social Mission Partner!
At Fig, we believe in the power of a community that works together to identify needs and find solutions—one that creates connections and is passionate about helping its neighbors. Because of this, the Social Mission Partner Program began. Each year Fig partners with a nonprofit organization working to transform the community. The nonprofit gets a page in each quarterly Fig Bethlehem issue in 2018, plus digital promotion on FigBethlehem.com and Fig Bethlehem social media.
The Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley focuses on helping, and empowering, individuals in the Bethlehem community. Fernanda Ferolie, Community Resource Coordinator, discussed a new initiative that helps people from Puerto Rico who have been displaced due to the recent hurricane.
“We have received around 700 individuals, 200 families, since October 2017,” said Fernanda. “We evaluate families coming in to help find what their needs are—health insurance, jobs, transportation needs, and/or housing. Then, we set up a plan to reach each goal.”
Fernanda explains that the language barrier can be one of the most challenging aspects of assimilating to the Bethlehem community from Puerto Rico–which is why the ESL program offered at the Center is perfect in helping the transition.
“We just hired a new case worker,” said Fernanda. “They will also be helping families from Puerto Rico because of the big need.”
The initiative started in October 2017. The population arriving from Puerto Rico temporarily slowed over the holidays, but it has been increasing again in the new year.
“We want to empower people to make them self-sufficient in the community,” added Fernanda.
Fig Bethlehem is proud to partner with the Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley this year. In addition to the new initiative to help displaced individuals from Puerto Rico, the Center continues to offer a senior center (open each day from 8am-1pm with programs like Zumba, health and fitness, and diabetes prevention), a food pantry (offered the third Saturday of each month from 9-11am), a Career Link program to help with employment, WIC (a nutritional program for pregnant women and kids through age 5), and so much more.
Visit their website to find out even more at Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley and explore the incredible impact their programs are having in the Bethlehem community.
Follow Fig Bethlehem for more information, interviews, and features on this great organization throughout the rest of the year.