Dear Publicolor family,
Our students are facing an emergency. The 251 students in our year-round programs and receiving college scholarships are calling us every day. Most are quarantined with broken families in homes that don’t feel safe. They have diminished access to food, education, and even shelter in some cases.
They have nowhere to go after school or on weekends.
They miss the friendships and role models they found at Publicolor.
Many are depressed.
We were their safe haven, their second family. Their stability.
They’re in extreme circumstances, so I am making this emergency appeal.
We are deeply concerned about their learning loss, their loss of structure, and their state of mind. For this reason, we have assigned every student to one of 10 staff and 12 tutors and volunteers who are calling every day to help with online homework and provide emotional support. And we are delivering all our workshops and tutoring sessions through online tools and monitoring student attendance. Until Friday when we closed the office (most staff were already working from home), we were distributing grab + go bags as well as toilet paper, paper towels, and disinfecting wipes. Through this next phase, we will be making multi-day deliveries of the food they need plus their weekly stipends — a small but meaningful amount of money that’s often used for rent for students and families pushed to the limit.
These are incredibly uncertain times for all of us, and we so hope you’re staying safe and healthy! We also deeply appreciate any support you’ve given us in the past, and your offers to help now. Even in the midst of this crisis, we are blessed.
Help us continue to be their refuge. Our staff has been amazing — they need you now as do our students! I hope you will help.
With huge appreciation,
Ruth Lande Shuman
Founder + President
“My biggest fear is that my mom will die because she is the only person who can take care of me, but she has lots of health problems with her heart. I was helping her pay bills, but now that none of us can work because of the lockdown, we can’t afford to make rent.”
Alejandro, 7th grade
“I actually don’t have one thing, but some things that were beneficial to me since Publicolor started helping when schools closed was that they brought food to my house although it was from Bloomberg, they went out of their way to make sure everyone is eating! And another thing, is that Publicolor staff like Natasha, Irma and Sarah texted and called me, and making sure that I am okay and asking if I need help with homework or projects”
Kyrel, 8th grade
“My biggest concern is that I may lose my mom and sister because both are high-risk – my mom has diabetes and my sister is wheelchair-bound with lots of health issues. I couldn’t imagine my life without them.”
Edgar, 11th grade
“The best thing that Publicolor has done is taught me how to create a schedule and organize myself in workshops, so now I feel like I can do it at home with my work”
Evelyn, 7th grade
“My biggest fear is that I am going to lose someone I really care about and we are not going to be able to afford the things we need around the house because nobody in my family can work right now, not even me.”
Cheyenne, 9th grade
“Publicolor is best at helping me with my math homework and for calling me during the week to stay in touch. It helps knowing that there are a team of people who constantly communicate with me and help me with assignments I don't get after meeting with my school teachers.”
Mailan, 7th grade
“My mom and I both love that Publicolor calls us to check in every few days and stipends are so good because now my mom can pay for her medications."
Eric, 7th grade
“Workshops have taught me how important it is to have a schedule. Talking to staff has also taught me that they also make schedules for themselves, now I make sure to set my alarm to be up by 9:00 am and ready to do school work at 9:30 am.”
Angel, 8th grade