Del. Michelle Maldonado attended a May 4 celebration at the Planet Word Museum, helping to mark Ayuda’s 50th year of service for immigrants in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Author and journalist Eugene Daniels emceed the event, which highlighted the inspiration of national immigrant champions.
During the celebration, Ayuda’s Board Chair Paul Stanger Lee announced that donations of up to $15,500 made that evening would be doubled. Proceeds were to support Ayuda’s mission and needs, including:
- Expanding Ayuda’s emergency response program
- Hiring more bilingual therapists, case managers and attorneys
- Offering more training opportunities for interpreters
- Bringing Ayuda’s language access services to Virginia
- Launching an advocacy program that will directly impact low-income immigrants Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland
Ayuda presented the Advocate of Change Award to Paola Velez, award-winning chef and co-founder of Bakers Against Racism, and the Champion of Justice Award to U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-California). Recognized for their provision of pro bono services to the immigrant community were Michael J. Woods (the Pro Bono Service Award) and law firm McGuireWoods (the Pro Bono Impact Award).
In addition to remarks, the event featured dancing to live music performed by Leonardo Garcia and Son Horizonte.