State Rep. Jared Solomon (D-202nd dist.) on Friday presented a check for $6,000 to the nonprofit HUGS (Humanity United for Global Support).
HUGS was created during the pandemic to support Latino immigrants. Its motto is “Healthy Parents, Healthy Children.”
Ivan Vila is president of HUGS, and his sister Emma Vila is vice president. They escaped war-torn Peru more than 20 years ago.
Solomon estimated that 30 percent of his district is foreign born and that many of them have a distrust of government. He believes he has an obligation to reach out to these “New Americans.”
HUGS helps in areas such as language, medical, education and legal.
Jessica Paredes spoke, through a translator, of how HUGS has helped her. She, her husband and two daughters took an 80-day journey from Honduras to the United States.
“Thanks to the mercy of God, we are here,” she said.
Paredes, whose daughters attend Spruance Elementary School, said immigrants leave their families and properties. She cited issues such as learning English in school, work permits, medical insurance, housing and finding immigration lawyers. She’s thankful for HUGS.
“We need your help,” she said, speaking for immigrants. “As Latino parents, it costs a lot for us to come to this country. We are good people. God bless this organization.”
To volunteer at HUGS, visit hugsphilly.org. ••