On Saturday, Sept. 13, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, in partnership with Lazos America Unida, and supported by a grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation, hosted a giveaway event.

School supplies, books, backpacks, fresh produce, and information about Covid-19 were distributed to the attendees. The event attracted over 350 people and more than 20 volunteers worked to provide material to children from elementary and middle school while practicing social distancing and wearing LALDEF masks.

A family at the recent LALDEF/Lazos America Unida event for local school students in need.

The giveaway was possible thanks to the collaboration of multiple organizations and individuals. Westminster Presbyterian Church in Trenton, led by Rev. Karen Hernández-Grancen, provided 68 of the 100 donated backpacks; the school supplies and information about COVID-19 was possible thanks to a grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation; and the produce was a donation from Rows for the Hungry.

“This is a much-needed activity to provide children from the community with school supplies, so they can succeed in school,” said a mother at the event. “We will keep working to ensure that every young person has the tools they need to succeed at school,” said Lorraine Goodman, LALDEF’s interim executive director.

LALDEF is committed to ensure access to education as a way to empower individuals and families, and to transform our community. We hope that the joy and enthusiasm displayed as the children and youth sorted through the numerous books, picked out their favorite backpack, and clutched the notebooks and pens stay with them throughout their educational journeys this year and beyond.

Established in 2004, LALDEF promotes the rights of all immigrants, with a focus on the Latin American community in Mercer County; facilitates access to health care, education and legal representation; advocates for the integration of immigrants; and fosters intercultural communication to strengthen our communities.

Lazos America Unida is a nonprofit organization in Central New Jersey with the mission of representing and advocating on behalf of the Mexican American community as well as strengthening the relationship between the Hispanic and the broader community through grassroots projects that seek to enhance and foster individual and collective prosperity; and involve the public, private, civic, and research sectors at the local, state, national, and transnational levels.