We are Bound by our Humanity

Dear fellow human beings,
We have a friend who addresses her messages with “Hello Beautiful People”, always bringing a smile to the recipient. This year, more than ever, we are bound by our humanity in ways never- before recorded in our collective memory.
A microbe unleashed by human incursions into the natural world found a ready host among us beautiful people. The simultaneous suffering and loss of millions of people around Planet Earth has taken us by surprise. Too late for many, we looked back at what should have been done to arrest this virus, and now apply the best of scientific practice and endeavor to produce tools to fight COVID-19. The first two vaccines to receive FDA EUA are rolling out. There is light.
African Services Committee has for three decades stood ready to screen, diagnose, and access treatment for diseases of poverty, aiming our interventions towards the African diaspora community, which is settling around the globe. We serve in Ethiopia, through our HIV clinics. New York City is home to tens of thousands of African and Caribbean immigrants who may spend years here before they are able to access health care. It is ASC’s mission to enable their access to care and treatment.
COVID-19 has been no exception to our daily work. We have raised funds to support PPE and testing for our front-line staff and clients in Ethiopia, along with food support. We have provided COVID-19 testing and massive mask distribution for immigrants in the NYC community, since August. Food security has been a top concern of clients and staff and we have ensured that our pantry has been fully stocked and deliveries made to the homebound. Mental health counseling services have continued, through tele-health calls, to address the trauma wrought by the pandemic.
With a new Administration at the ready, we can anticipate changes in immigration rules, and our legal team is preparing for the types of cases we may expect. Housing evictions are likely to resume, without a further stay of eviction from CDC. Our housing team has never stopped working during the pandemic, to stabilize and find new housing for our clients. In January, our virtual ESL classes will start up.
We know there are many thousands of you for whom this work resonates. Let’s make more time in 2021 to find each other and connect.
With all good wishes for the New Year,
Kim Nichols 
Co-Executive Director