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May E-News from The PRASAD Project

Dear Friends,
We hope you and your family are well. It’s hard to imagine that we have been sheltering in place for nearly three months, and that so much has changed in the world. We are very thankful to all of our donors who continue to generously support our work, especially during this challenging time.

  • Your support has provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Catskill Medical Center in Sullivan County and healthcare workers in New York City.
  • In Sullivan County, you helped PRASAD Children’s Health Program (PRASAD CDHP) keep the hotline open to advise parents and refer children with dental emergencies.
  • In the Tansa Valley, India, your contributions have supported the production and distribution of more than 1,300 face masks to community members, and the delivery of over 2,300 food packages in 17 villages and hamlets to 1,730 Adivasi families who currently have no income source.

As the world adapts to a “new normal,” we are taking a moment to reflect on the learnings from our time in isolation. How do we use this experience to inform not just how we re-open our programs, but how we rebuild them to be more resilient, sustainable, and supportive of the increased needs of the people we serve? Recovery is a multi-faceted effort, and this is the time to implement new strategies to deliver services in a way that will ensure safer, sustainable, and more effective engagement with our communities.

As the COVID-19 health and economic crisis continues, providing food and helping to improve livelihood opportunities for those who have lost their incomes has become an urgent need. At PRASAD, we are focusing on providing food and basic needs across our programs and planning for COVID-19 recovery and long-term sustainability.

In the U.S.
Sullivan County, part of the Mid-Hudson Region, started phase one reopening on May 26th. The PRASAD CDHP hotline continues to give parents valuable and timely support, referring children with dental emergencies. Our dental clinic remains temporarily closed, and, when we re-open, we will be practicing in a different paradigm, which will require more resources, steps and time to protect our patients and staff.

We continue to work with the Sullivan County Health Department and the New York State Department of Health. PRASAD is partnering with Sullivan County’s Federation for the Homeless to provide pantry bags to low-income families.

In India
According to an April World Bank report, the lockdown has negatively impacted the livelihoods of a large proportion of India’s internal migrants, and livelihoods in rural areas have been hardest hit. In the Tansa Valley, temporary jobs help bring extra cash to low-income families, but these jobs have disappeared.

Compounding this, now jobless migrant workers, who were a source of income for their families, are returning to their villages in search of food and family support. PRASAD Chikitsa will continue delivering food packages through June to families.

In Mexico
In Guerrero State, PRASAD de México volunteers are distributing food packages to low-income families of informal day workers – like street vendors, whose livelihoods depend on tourism, which is currently non-existent.

Preparing for recovery and sustainability
The COVID-19 pandemic is severely challenging all economies, and the consequences in impoverished communities like the ones we serve are far more devastating. We know that the road to recovery and re-establishing thriving, healthy, sustainable communities is going to be just as challenging. So, even in the midst of urgent need, we are starting now to work with our communities to develop the strategies we’ll need to ensure a strong, long-term recovery.

We are here to carry our communities through these uncertain times and help uplift them to new heights. More than ever, we need your help now to accomplish this. Will you give a gift today?

Continue to stay safe and healthy.

Warm regards,

Dr. M. Cecilia Escarra
Executive Director

P.S. For the 2020 tax year, taxpayers can take an above-the-line charitable deduction of up to $300 for certain charitable contributions. In addition, for 2020, the deduction available on cash contributions to charitable organizations has been increased from 60 percent of a taxpayer’s AGI to 100 percent. (Contributions to donor-advised funds are not eligible.) For corporations, the deductibility of cash contributions has been increased temporarily from 10 percent to 25 percent of taxable income.


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