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TCE, Irvine, Philanthropy Groups Partner with Univision to Provide Humanitarian Relief to Children from the Border

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Press Release: 

NEW YORK, AUGUST 13, 2014 – Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, today announced an unprecedented partnership with philanthropic foundations to support children from the border. The effort is an expansion of Univision’s “Estamos Con Los Niños” (“We Are With The Children”) campaign. The fundraising partnership is being jumpstarted with a new coalition of philanthropic foundations that initially includes The California Endowment, The James Irvine Foundation and the Marguerite Casey Foundation. This partnership will support humanitarian relief and assistance for children fleeing extreme hardship and life-threatening violence in Central America hoping for a safe haven in the United States. Univision will expand its large-scale awareness-raising effort across its platforms to raise donations from its audiences to directly support organizations working on the frontlines of this crisis.

The California Endowment has provided a catalytic $500,000 grant to launch the campaign; The James Irvine Foundation has pledged $300,000; and the Marguerite Casey Foundation has contributed $50,000. Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrant Refugees (GCIR) and Hispanics In Philanthropy (HIP) are helping to ensure the funds raised go to key community organizations on the front lines of the crisis.

Starting in late August, Univision will expand its awareness campaign across its multi-media platforms with a specific call for donations from its viewers. The on-air elements of the initiative will stretch across Univision’s media platforms, continuing with public service announcements across its portfolio; integrations into national programs including Despierta America (Wake Up America), El Gordo y La Flaca (The Scoop & The Skinny), Primer Impacto (First Impact), and Univision Radio’s El Bueno, La Mala y El Feo (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and The Enrique Santos Show. In addition Univision Network’s popular variety show Sábado Gigante (Giant Saturday) will dedicate a special hour to the effort in September about this topic. On Social Media the conversion will be driven using the hashtag #EstamosConLosNiños in Spanish or #TheyAreChildren in English.

Today’s announcement represents a major expansion of these existing efforts to raise donations from Univision audiences, individual supporters and philanthropic foundations. Funds will be disbursed to not-for-profit organizations providing aid and assistance to children as they are detained in temporary facilities and are released into the care of families or sponsors. Save the Children will lead the effort to collect the donations from Univision audiences by phone, text message and online and then grant those funds to organizations including well-respected national charities and service providers: Catholic Charities, CARECEN (Central American Resource Center) and Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), as well as other groups providing critical support to these refugee children across the nation. The funds will be used to provide a range of services, including safe and humane housing, basic medical care and legal representation as the children face immigration hearings that will determine their status.

“When our CEO Randy Falco launched our initial campaign in June by sending a letter to the nation’s highest-ranking government leaders, we knew it was just a first step in what would become a comprehensive effort to provide humanitarian aid to these young children, many of whom are under the age of 12,” said Roberto Llamas, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Community Empowerment at Univision. “Our experience to date, both in reporting on the crisis and in providing aid, has convinced us that these children still desperately need humanitarian support as they await the determination of their future. We are proud to be partnering with philanthropic foundations and believe it is also appropriate to give our community the opportunity to contribute to a cause that is so important to them.”

“These are children—innocent and vulnerable children—who need our help,” said Dr. Robert Ross, President and CEO of the California Endowment. “By providing a grant to catalyze this effort, The California Endowment wanted to do our part to make sure these refugee children, who have overcome so much trauma and hardship, are able to live whole and healthy lives. We’re energized by the commitment we’re seeing from other foundations, like the James Irvine Foundation, and we welcome the participation of other philanthropic foundations and corporations in this effort. We are gratified that Univision is leading the way.”

“We are very thankful to be teaming up with Univision and others to help raise critical funds to support the children who are fleeing violence and insecurity in their Central American communities,” said Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles. “Despite the debate surrounding this issue, we are choosing children. They are scared and need our help. And with support from Univision and its community, we can ensure they get the help they need now and in the future.”
“The stories and faces of the unaccompanied children on our southern border compel us to act,” said Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, representing a national network of member agencies that have stepped up to assist children in need. “We are grateful to Univision and our partner organizations for their generous support and commitment to work together on addressing this humanitarian crisis with respect and compassion.”

Since June, Univision has provided comprehensive news coverage of this humanitarian crisis, the root causes behind the situation and steps being taken to address it, and has shared the stories of children and families who made the harrowing journey to the U.S., using its media assets including the Univision Network, Galavisión, Fusion, digital platforms, and Local Media. Separately, the Company launched an awareness initiative to engage its audiences on this issue via PSAs, discussion on various programs, and social media. In addition, the Company has donated supplies to organizations currently caring for these children and continues to advocate for them by reaching out to elected officials at the local, state and federal level on the humanitarian response needed. At the same time, philanthropic foundations like The California Endowment have begun directing resources to service providers and community organizers caring for vulnerable refugee children.
The California Endowment recently launched www.theyarechildren.com to offer all Americans the opportunity to send messages of hope and compassion to the refugee children. The California Endowment has also partnered with faith leaders to call for compassion and caring for the children.

> Read the complete press release here.