Tuitt lends his “large hand” to others

For the third time, Steelers players are running the Steelers Social Justice Grant program. The players donate to local organizations that have an impact on the community, and the Steelers match the donations. The Steelers recently launched the Steelers Social Justice Grant Program 2020 and it continues today with Stephon Tuitt making a difference in the community.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March, one of the first effects was the shutdown of businesses.

And many of these companies, which closed immediately, were in the service industry, such as restaurants where people who were barely making ends meet suddenly faced unimaginable challenges before the pandemic.

For those in the Pittsburgh Latino community, they were among the first to be affected. Their income was suddenly lost when their business premises closed or their working hours were cut drastically with no knowledge of where to turn or what to do to get through the tough times.

This is where Casa San Jose came in.

The organization run by the Sisters of St. Josef von Baden was first opened as a resource for Latino immigrants in 2013. They serve as the base for supporting the Pittsburgh Latino community and offer a wide range of services including education, social services, and health counseling to help them thrive in the community.

“The main idea was to help Latino immigrants feel welcome, to feel part of and enjoy their culture, but also to help them get used to the way things are in happen to the United States, “said Sister Karen Stoila, development and finance director of Casa San Jose. “We’re helping them connect resources, get their kids to school, apply for SNAP benefits, and connect them to clinics and medical resources.

“With the situation in El Salvador and Honduras, the way things went there, we took up some issues to provide opportunities for DACA recipients, children who came to this country at a young age. The organization has really grown.”

And it grew even further in the past year after the pandemic.

While the services at their base haven’t changed, they have expanded their operations to help Latino immigrants cope with the effects of the pandemic, and the need has grown by leaps and bounds.

“The pandemic really put us in a hurricane,” Sister Karen said. “A lot of the people have very low paying jobs. They worked as dishwashers in restaurants, waiters, cooks or housekeepers. When they lost their income, they panicked because they had no other resources. The government wasn’t trying to help you.

“We got a lot of foundation aid, a lot of individual help. During the summer of 2020 we helped immigrants with a small amount of cash aid, food, PPE, disinfectants and clothing. As a result, we still have a We have about 90 people who come every week to get food and we try to bring them food they really like, things they eat and fresh produce.

“Before the pandemic, we had about 400 clients. Now we have about 1,700. It kept getting word of mouth. The scholarship we originally had was to work with people in Allegheny County. We find people in Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler Counties We now have a satellite office in all areas and work with churches in other areas.

“We were a lifeline for people. We kept them from falling into deep depression and despair.”

However, to be a lifeline, they need help. And here the defensive end of Stephon Tuitt has arrived. Through the Steelers Social Justice Grant Program, a program run by the players to work with various factions including law enforcement, nonprofits, the military, and more, to empower the community in general, Tuitt makes a difference. He donated $ 5,000 to Casa San Jose, with the Steelers raising the donation for a total of $ 10,000.

“It’s an opportunity to do more than just give material. It’s an opportunity to see families who have been helped during the pandemic,” Tuitt said. “Everyone needs a hand, and I’m just trying to give my big hand out there to help people survive this difficult time we’re going through. Hopefully what I could give and the Steelers- Match that for a large number of families in Pittsburgh.

“These people are like the first line of defense. When things collapse, it’s the people who do the job who are first affected. So that I can give them my name and know that I grew up in a similar situation hard working family members who wanted the best for our family but we didn’t have the resources to provide what they wanted to do for us. A helping hand would have helped my own family overcome some things. So I like to do this to have the opportunity to do that for other families.

“We are in a blessed bubble. I am doing the job of my life for myself. I am so blessed to do what I do. At the same time, I came out of a situation that motivated me to make it here, and I will do it.” Never forget people in these difficult situations. Without my situation I wouldn’t be here today.

“Personally, I advocate that people in higher positions show leadership. It is not always financial, but it is guidance and help for someone who has the opportunity to find a way or a way to change what they can do in life. The people you have helped might go back and help others in their community. This effect one by one and help others in the future. “

For those at Casa San Jose, the support of Tuitt and the Steelers is something they know can only help them if they move forward.

“We were just thrilled that Stephon selected us, heard from us and his story fits in with what we can do for people who are immigrants,” said Sister Karen. “He’s so positive about everything. He’s very humble and humble. The Steelers and the Rooney family have very high standards of how people should treat and relate to others, and I think Stephon admires that. He wants to live too The.”

Tuitt was inspired to help the organization he learned of through its collaboration with the Notre Dame Club in Pittsburgh because of his grandmother Sarah Martin, who came to the US from the West Indies.

“When you say America, it’s a mix for me,” said Tuitt. “It’s not a specific group or race. It’s every race. It’s every race in one. My family is an immigrant. My grandmother is from the West Indies. I understand from her story what it was like to go her way. As the hotel industry died where it came from. She had to make her way to America to live a life for her family. I want them to know that my family are immigrants too. my grandmother showed me what opportunities you have in America. Help the Latino The community shows that we are all involved together. “

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