Division Midway Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides resources to refugees and immigrants living in Southeast Portland, which includes a large community of Burmese immigrants, among others. These low-income, communities of color are historically underserved and, during this time of crisis, hardest hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Some of our community members
"My husband and my son did not have a job for a while when Covid-19 hit my family earlier this year , and I am struggling to pay for my bills. I am thankful to DMA, a little help is appreciated from the bottom of my heart during this crisis.” -Than Than Aye
“Not everybody needs the same support. Not being able to pay for my rent and utility bills is something that worries me the most while I get my hours reduced from work. One time utility assistance from DMA helps my family to save up a little and use it for something more important.” -Aye Paw
“I have never seen any organization that helps my community directly with utility assistance like DMA. I have not paid for my PGE bill for three months, but DMA took care of it. I am very thankful to whoever donated money to us. I will never forget to help others.” - Esmeil Abra
Mu Naw Klaw has been out of work for two months, after a COVID-19 layoff. She has applied for unemployment assistance but has not received it yet. Her husband is still working, but gets fewer hours than before (also due to COVID). The family is surviving on pay from one day per week and is falling behind in rent and utility payments. Short-term food assistance would allow the family to pay some bills, and technology training could help both adults in the family to become fully reemployed.
Cultural Liaison Lwe Wah Shee – a Burmese refugee herself and team member of Division Midway Alliance - has been helping community members facing unemployment and hunger. We are seeking $2,000 in donations to match a $2,000 grant awarded by the East Portland Action Plan. Our goal is to support 30, Karen/Burmese families, by providing food boxes or grocery gift cards, help with utility bills and rent and other essential resources, and the need continues to grow.
Your generosity would help Division Midway Alliance: 1) Purchase and distribute food gift cards ($50 each), pay a portion of their utility bill or rent to local unemployed and low-income families to “bridge the gap” as they file for unemployment and seek work. This effort will also support local business owners, as gift cards will be purchased from family-owned and local small businesses. 2) Provide technology training for a largely non-English speaking population who currently has little access to technology. With many COVID-19 adaptations here to stay, these skills are vital to helping these families survive and thrive long-term in a post-COVID world. By providing this assistance, we will help to meet both the short- and long-term needs of our community. Food assistance provides temporary relief to community members, allowing them to focus on the search for employment and additional resources. Technology training allows for economic stability, impactful not only during this time of crisis but also a valuable 21st-century skill that can be carried forward. Join us as we help those in crisis in our community – we are all in this together!