UIDN: A little goes a long way

UIDN is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Donations are deductible; UIDN’s tax ID is 85-0854210. To contribute now, use the button above. Or, checks payable to UIDN may be sent c/o Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Episcopal Church, 30 Pine Grove Ave., Kingston, NY 12401.

I can’t donate now, but would like information on how to pledge time or help in other ways.

Support from community members like you has helped UIDN, an all-volunteer group, do all of this since last Giving Tuesday …

  • 560 families were helped with rent or utility bills.
  • 542 families received fresh food and household items at our year-round weekly market.
  • 126 families were given clothing, furniture, and/or shopping carts.
  • 65 families got rides to medical appointments, ICE check-ins, immigration court, and more.
  • 58 families received medical and dental referrals and help with costs.
  • 50 children participated in tutoring, remote one-on-one reading, after school programs, and more in spite of the pandemic.
  • 23 individuals were given bicycles to ride to work.
  • 14 families got legal referrals and/or help with legal fees.

Since last Giving Tuesday, UIDN has also collaborated with others to help our immigrant neighbors …

  • Study for the NYS driver’s license.
  • Get Covid vaccines.
  • Understand their rights as tenants.
  • Advocate for schools that better address their children’s needs.
  • Apply for NYS’s Excluded Workers Fund, Covid-related emergency rental assistance, and other programs.

Double your money, double the results

The first $5,000 in Giving Tuesday gifts to the Ulster Immigrant Defense Network will be matched by Ruth Hirsch and Steve Samuels. That means that every $1 you give will be worth $2; every $10, $20; every $100, $200; and so on.

Ruth writes, “We recently received repayment of money we loaned — money we had not expected. We’re folks who do not have big money. And yet, we can give this and not risk the loss of our home.”

And, remember, contributions to UIDN are tax deductible.

Graphic: Design for a Cause, a partnership between Canva and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Who are the  families UIDN serves?

They are a fast-growing part of our community. The Mid-Hudson Valley, which includes Ulster County, had more than 20,000 undocumented residents in 2018. Between 2000 and 2019 the broader category of foreign-born residents grew from 5% to 12% in Kingston and also is growing in the Ulster County towns of Shandaken and Wawarsing and the villages of Ellenville and New Paltz , making up 10% or more of the population in 2019. In Ulster County overall, the foreign-born population grew from 6% in 2000 to 8% in 2019.

Many come from Central America seeking opportunity, refuge, and stability. They come to escape violence, corruption, and gangs. They come because the climate crisis has increased the frequency of severe weather and made farming impossible in many areas. They come because centuries of colonialism, oligarchy, and resource exploitation destroyed their economies.

Most are working and serving our community. Roughly 70 percent of immigrants in the Hudson Valley are employed and they make up about 16 percent of the workforce.

Their jobs are often precarious, vulnerable to exploitation, and even dangerous — agriculture, construction, food processing and serving, landscaping, and the like. It is often poorly paid, dangerous, and demanding. In 2019, for example, there were 8,000 domestic workers (housekeepers, cleaners, nannies, and home care aides) in the Mid-Hudson Valley; more than 60% were undocumented.

They are ineligible for unemployment and most social services. They are almost always left out of programs and services available to other workers, including much of the assistance related to the Covid-19 pandemic. That is why UIDN and our allies fought for the Excluded Workers Fund and are now working to get additional funding. It is also why UIDN tries to identify federal, state, and local programs families may be eligible for and then help them apply.

UIDN outdoor market


Central American Immigrants in the United States, Migration Policy Institute, August 11, 2021

Central American Migration: Root Causes and U.S. Policy, Congressional Research Service, updated October 27, 2021

Domestic Workers Are Essential Workers: By the Numbers in New York, Fiscal Policy Institute, April 12, 2021

Indivisible 19

Mid-Hudson Valley Community Profiles, from the Dyson Foundation

A Pathway to Citizenship: Doing Well by Doing Good, Fiscal Policy Institute, February 1, 2021

The root cause of Central American migration? The United States, Aviva Chomsky, The Washington Post, July 8, 2021