September 2 2014

The California Endowment and Univision Communications Inc. are joining forces for an unprecedented fundraising campaign, which officially launched September 1 and runs through September 30, to provide critical humanitarian support to vulnerable children seeking refuge in the United States.  The California Endowment was a major catalyst behind the effort, pledging $500,000 to kick start this partnership with Univision and other philanthropic foundations, including The James Irvine Foundation and The Marguerite Casey Foundation, which have contributed $300,000 and $50,000 respectively.

Univision is engaging its viewers across its media platforms, with special segments in Despierta America (Wake Up America), Hoy (Today), El Gordo y La Flaca (The Scoop & The Skinny), along with other programs, running PSAs and digital promotions, and hosting an hour-long special on Univision Network’s popular variety show Sábado Gigante (Giant Saturday).

The California Endowment’s role in this initiative is the latest outgrowth of the foundation’s sustained work to help children seeking refuge. Since launching the microsite and digital campaign — #TheyAreChildren — which collects and showcases letters of compassion for the children, more than 3,000 letters have been submitted so far and TCE is working with community organizations to deliver the messages to the children. In addition, a visit by The Endowment’s President & CEO Dr. Robert K. Ross and prominent California faith leaders to an immigration facility where children were being housed led to a national interfaith weekend of prayer and compassion for the children.

The fundraising effort, a new initiative under the umbrella of Univision’s Estamos con los Niños campaign, will direct resources towards refugee children’s highest-impact needs by financially supporting non-profit organizations and charities on the frontlines of this urgent humanitarian crisis.  To learn more about this effort and how you can help, visit and follow the conversation online at #estamosconlosninos and #theyarechildren.

Temporary facilities housing children are being shut down and tens of thousands of children are traveling to join family members or sponsors in communities all over the country. They need our help now more than ever.

All children deserve the opportunity to live a life of health and safety, and not be subjected to life-threatening violence or desperate poverty. These children, many of whom who fled unimaginable violence in Central America and traveled to the U.S. alone, need medical and mental health care, counseling after the trauma they’ve experienced, nutritious meals, safe and humane housing, and more.

With the help of Univision viewers and others, organizations like Save the Children, Catholic Charities, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), and CARECEN (Central American Resource Center), which are fighting for vulnerable kids every day, will be able to continue their critical work. They’re making sure children have legal representation before their immigration hearings, providing after-school programs to help them learn English and integrate into their communities, getting them the medical screenings they need, and much more.

The Endowment and other partners are working with Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) to distribute the funds raised to organizations which are best able to help these children in key regions in the U.S.

If you have any questions about the campaign, check out our brief FAQ here.

Click here to send a message of compassion to the child refugees.

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