Local nonprofit going outside the box to assist families during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Community Center for Arts and Technology, or CCAT, is a place for local students to learn tech and performing arts.

But over the course of the pandemic, they've offered so much more.

"All of a sudden from 10 calls a day, we started getting 75 calls," says Armando Valdez.

Working to help the Latino community in any way they could.

"Bringing them food boxes, taking them there," Valdez said. "We started making masks. We made about 4,000 from April to June

Valdez is the founder of the non-profit and says at times, resources were scarce.

"I was using a lot of my personal savings," he said. "We just started finding a lot of families in dire straights, so we started giving them food. "We'd go to the store and find food."

He is one of many non-profits receiving part of a $2 million grant from the Latino Community Foundation.

The grants support trusted Latino-led organizations in hard hit communities.

"There needed to be something done and for us, that was really leaning into our community organizations that they trust," says Amber Gonzales-Vargas with the Latino Community Foundation.

As latinos still lag behind in getting their vaccine, LCF hopes this funding will change that.

"I want to make sure in these eight weeks that we now have until reopening time, that we're getting as many folks vaccinated as possible," Gonzales-Vargas said.

For organizations in the Central Valley, it gives them the vital resources they need to continue their work.

"We're trying to help those kids by doing virtual tutoring, going to their homes, providing some support with the vaccination," Valdez said.
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