Sometimes, it can feel like there is so much negativity in the world that it becomes overwhelming. During these times, it is up to us to do our part to spread a little love, positivity, and light. Samara Cogan, Regional Representative for the U.S. Northeast, had this exact thought when she decided to support an organization that is working to fight darkness with light.
Fighting Hate During COVID
Between March 2020 and September 2021, around 10,370 hate incidents were reported to the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate. There was a major surge that members of the community were afraid to go out for fear of being attacked.
“Because of the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S. due to the coronavirus, I wanted to help a local organization that provides services to vulnerable members of the Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, and immigrant communities,” said Samara.
API Chaya is an organization that was created by and for survivors from marginalized communities. They work to empower those who have survived violence by educating, and providing resources to South Asians, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and other immigrant communities.
The organization offers “culturally specific support services” intended to help survivors lead successful lives after a crisis. They offer free and confidential services like intensive case management, safety planning, emotional support, legal services, and therapy.
Doing The Work
Samara was able to get in touch with one of the leaders at API Chaya and get a list of supplies that the organization needed. Once Samara got the list, she sprang into action. “My first step was to look around in local stores to see if I could pick things up in person,” said Samara. Unfortunately, she ran into a few issues finding the items in the store, but she was able to adjust. “I was unable to find 4 of the 6 items I needed in stores. I was able to order them to be shipped to my house.”
Samara could not perform a traditional drop-off due to the organization’s work to protect their clients, but Peter, a member of the organization, was able to meet her to pick up the equipment. “Peter was thrilled to receive the computer equipment! He said the person at API Chaya who will most appreciate the large computer monitors is their accountant, who was doing the best they could with a small screen while working on multiple spreadsheets at a time,” Samara mentioned. “Seeing how happy Peter was to see the donation was so fulfilling. I’m so thankful to Random Acts for providing me with an opportunity to help another organization acquire the things they need. API Chaya can continue doing good work in service of others, and I’m glad we were able to support them.”
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