Donate to the Rhode Island COVID-19 Emergency Hospitality Relief Fund
Help the thousands of hourly wage earners and service workers across Rhode Island who have experienced layoffs due to the COVID-19 virus.
By Leishla Maldonado and Jamie Coelho
Service industry workers cannot work from home, and they are really suffering right now since many restaurants and bakeries are shutting down indefinitely or suspending dine-in service for takeout-only and delivery. Since Governor Raimondo declared a State of Emergency last week, thousands of hourly wage earners and service workers across Rhode Island have experienced layoffs due to the COVID-19 virus.
Bartender Leishla Maldonado and industry friends have worked together to start a GoFundMe page for service industry workers. So far, they have been able to raise $10,000 to give service workers immediate relief. “I have also coordinated and offered support with hospitality volunteers free childcare for the month, a free meal service by a local chef and an emergency housing option by the Dean hotel for any hospitality worker that had reached out to me,” says Maldonado. “Our goal is to raise as much money as possible, to help alleviate the financial needs of the service industry during these pressing times.”
“The small business owners are what make this little state one of the greatest places to dine and explore, and the employees are the backbone to the Creative Capital,” she says.
They have all had to make tough decisions like laying off employees and shutting their doors indefinitely. This GoFundMe fundraiser is designed to create partial emergency relief to hospitality workers across Rhode Island, who have been displaced, laid off or negatively impacted by COVID-19. The goal is for these funds, supplemented with other resources, to provide some immediate relief while other resources and government funds become available.
“The reality is, amidst crisis like these, it often takes weeks for government and nonprofit emergency funds to trickle down to the street. That is why this fundraiser is so necessary,” Maldonado says. “We have the power to give laid-off service workers the money they need to survive immediately.”
“If you’ve had a great cocktail, an incredible meal or a magical experience dining out, you know who these people are,” she says. “Rhode Island is an incredibly supportive community, and right now we need your help to support our community members at an extremely stressful, and uncertain time. Please consider donating so we can help support the people that make Rhode Island great.”