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UUSC – Solidarity in Times of Crisis

The climate crisis produces more severe weather patterns and stronger seasonal storms, endangering lives and destroying homes. UUSC’s disaster justice response reaches people at highest risk from climate impacts by supporting grassroots partners who already have deep roots in affected communities. This way, local organizations can quickly determine who is in vital need of aid when tragedy strikes and what rebuilding must happen for an equitable recovery.

Crisis response that’s built upon existing relationships and true solidarity makes humanitarian assistance more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach. It ensures real justice on-the-ground follows a disaster.

For example, our recovery support in the devastating aftermath caused by the deadly Category 5 Hurricane Ian in late 2022 went through the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) — a workers’ rights organization. UUSC funding enabled CIW to increase its capacity and direct its energy in the moment toward relief efforts. The group functioned as a regional hub for volunteer coordination and emergency response for tens of thousands of Florida residents who had lost homes, income, and loved ones to the intense storm surge’s destruction.

Drawing on CIW’s deep experience coordinating relief following 2017’s Hurricane Irma, they mapped out the most affected areas — finding those who had yet to receive aid and sent teams to distribute emergency food, water, and supplies. Others helped clear debris and repaired damage in the weeks after, helping low-income workers hit hardest by the storm.

The Immokalee community’s actions demonstrate the strength that solidarity provides “when everything can appear lost and no clear path back to a normal life is in sight.” As CIW notes, their work “helped to show thousands without power or resources that they were not alone in their suffering — that they need not pick up the pieces of their lives in isolation and from scratch — and that community organizations such as ours are there to meet them in their moment of need.”

Make a credit card gift over the phone by calling UUSC at 617-868-6600. Mail a check to: UUSC, PO Box 808, Newark, NJ 07101-0808.