NGO Spotlight: La Comunidad Hispana, Kennett Square, PA

When tough economic times hit, it’s often those on the lowest rungs of the income ladder who suffer the most. They’re the ones whose jobs are eliminated first; who suffer the most from cutbacks. And all too often, they’re La Comunidad Hispana’s clients.

Last year, La Comunidad Hispana proudly moved into its own permanent home after 36 years. Until the move, all the organization’s IT needs had been met by its parent organization. Now in its own facility, it needed to rebuild its IT infrastructure from the ground up. Staff worried that the organization’s mission — empowering immigrants and low-income residents of Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, to stay healthy, build strong families and lead productive and fulfilling lives — would receive less attention during this time-consuming move and IT migration.

What would that mean for people like Maria and her three children who had no health-care coverage?

Or for Juan, whose passport was destroyed by a police officer who assumed it was forged?

Or for Maria and Jose, whose nine-month-old daughter needed surgery for a congenital condition and who had no car?

Or for Pedro, who was being disrespected at his job because of his poor language skills?

They were thrilled to discover the Microsoft software donations program. Operated by TechSoup it provided a straightforward way for them to request donations of the software they needed to outfit their new office. Following a donation of Windows Remote Desktop Services, Microsoft Office, Windows Server, and Small Business Server, executive director Margarita Queralt Mirkil wrote to: “As you know so well, access to IT resources is vital to a nonprofit organization’s success. Everything we do — to serve our clients and advocate on their behalf — depends on having up-to-date computer software. And for a small organization, it’s a daunting expense. The amazing contribution we received from Microsoft allows us to redirect the equivalent of a large grant where it’s needed most — to meeting our clients’ needs.”

With that, La Comunidad Hispana’s focus was turned back toward its mission of restoring hope and providing support to those who needed it most.

Like Maria: La Comunidad provided treatment for her severe kidney disease and arranged medical assistance for her and her three children.

And Juan: La Comunidad secured him new passport documents by working directly with the Mexican consulate.

And Maria, Jose, and their daughter: La Comunidad not only arranged a referral to A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital for the surgery, but one of their family care specialists also drove Maria and Jose to and from the hospital for pre-surgical tests, their daughter’s hospital stay, and post-surgical follow-up visits. In just over a month after the surgery, this beautiful girl blossomed and began speaking.

And Pedro: An ESL teacher at La Comunidad encouraged him to leave his job and helped him find work at a large horse farm where he improved his language skills and eventually became the farm’s manager.

La Comunidad Hispana believes that with access to high-quality, culturally welcoming services, immigrants and low-income residents of Southern Chester County are able to contribute more fully to the social vibrancy and economic prosperity of the region.

At Microsoft, we’re excited to support an organization like La Comunidad Hispana. For more information about how other great nonprofit organizations are benefitting from technology, visit the Microsoft Local Impact Map.

For more information about the resources Microsoft provides for nonprofit organizations please visit our site.

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