March 31, 2020
Dear friends (and, hopefully, new friends) of Caritas Cuba,
First, we hope and pray that you and yours are in good health. Thank God that we live in a prosperous country that can help those impacted by this horrible pandemic and its economic consequences. We also pray for all our leaders who need to guide our society through these hardships, and for the countless medical and other service providers we rely on. Thankfully, many of you will soon begin to see economic help flowing your way.
However, in Cuba there is little help to be had in the midst of an already disastrous economy, great hardship and shortages, and one of the highest per capita concentrations of poor senior citizens in the world. We do not mean to minimize the damage done by the virus in the US; but imagine how much worse the conditions are and will be in Cuba.
Many of you know that in 1999 we started Friends of Caritas Cuba to help Cubans through Caritas, the charitable arm of the Catholic church. Twenty years later, assisted by countless caring friends, volunteers and donors, Friends of Caritas Cuba provides over 50% of Caritas Cubana’s budget and serves over 40,000 of Cuba’s neediest, including meals and/or social services to almost 20,000 older individuals.
Unfortunately, the virus has required us to postpone 2 fundraisers, in N.Y. and Boston, which provide annually one-third of our budget, just as we are hearing from our social service partners in Cuba that the scarcity of food, basic hygiene products and health services is rapidly increasing.
We need to make up for our fundraising shortfall–and much more. If you are fortunate enough not to be seriously impacted, please help us help the most vulnerable in Cuba. They have no one to replace us. We promise you we will stretch every dollar and use all of our organization’s resources and relationships to help as many desperately needy Cubans on the island as we can.
We know you are receiving and responding to many similar appeals; but please help us if you can. We are very dependent on individual contributions. You can donate either at www.friendscaritascuba.org or by check to Friends of Caritas Cuba, 81 Washington Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140. Our Federal tax ID number is 20-3023256. Our Florida tax registration number is CH31539. Thank you for all you have done and may do for us.