Raíces Mutual Aid Response to COVID-19

Raíces Cultural Center has taken on a mutual aid initiative to provide supplies, support, and information within and around our community, in any way we have the ability to do so. Please continue checking back to this page for updates and new ways to help mobilize in our community in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Raíces Cooperative Mask Making Initiative

May 7, 2020 Update

Raíces has begun our mask making initiative. In Phase 1 of the project, the Raíces crew, along with one mutual aid network volunteer from our local community handcrafted and donated 50 fabric masks along with 50 donated surgical masks to Capital Health Hospital in Hopewell, NJ. In addition, we made and distributed 25 fabric masks to members of the Raíces Community who were in need of reusable and washable face coverings.

Now we are close to the end of our upcycled and donated fabric, and we have been contacted by a group of seamstresses from the local community who want to volunteer to continue sewing masks. We are looking forward to working cooperatively with these volunteers, acquiring and dropping off the raw materials, and picking up the finished products for distribution to the hospital and local community members in need.

We are launching the Raíces Coronavirus Cooperative Campaign to raise the funds to keep this project going. With a goal of $300, we will be able to produce and donate an additional 400 fabric face masks to Capital Health Hospital as well as local community members in need. Help us reach our goal!

Calling All Crafters - Homemade Masks Needed

April 2020 Update

Want to join in the initiative? We are looking for more local friends who sew who would like to join in this collaborative effort. A friend and supporter of Raíces is a nurse at Capital Health, a Central NJ hospital that is looking for fabric surgical masks. These masks are being used for healthcare providers, and any number of masks is greatly appreciated. 

For the hospital donations to Capital Health, they are asking for masks made from 100% tightly woven cotton with cloth ties in order to be most effective. No elastic, no fibrous material and no metal. The inside of the mask should be made with a solid color inside and a patterned fabric outside so that the inside is easily identifiable from the outside of the mask for healthcare providers. For donation to local community members, masks can be made with elastic. Please see the video tutorial below for instructions and pattern.

If you want to join in the effort, please send us an email to raices@raicesculturalcenter.org or call us at 732-236-7618 (Nicole) or 908-227-5671 (Francisco).

Don’t sew but want to help? Make a financial donation to help us acquire the materials for more masks. We will also take donations of 100% tightly woven cotton cloth until this initiative ends. Get in touch to arrange a drop off!

Please share this page to help us spread the word!


March 13, 2020 Update

Greetings Friends and Supporters,

As we move forward through the first quarter of 2020 some unfortunate events have taken place internationally as well as locally that are impacting the arts as well as other disciplines that give our lives so much meaning. 

Raíces was to begin a series of programs starting in April with the N.J.C.H. Public Scholars Project, Humanities Incubation Grant pilot project, and our new Women in Culture initiative. At present the Public Scholars Project has been postponed and pushed back to an undetermined date. Our private programming and performances have followed suit for the duration.

Following the advise of the W.H.O. and the N.I.H. in order to do our part to combat Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19,) Raíces will follow all health protocols and recommendations to fight this global pandemic and hope that you will do the same!

In the meantime, we at Raíces wish you continued good health and a safe status as we all weather this difficult phase in our lives at this point in time, and we look forward to bringing you even better programming and events in the near future. Please continue to check our website, blog, and Facebook page for updates!

Peace, blessings and good health,

Francisco G. Gómez
Director – Raíces Cultural Center

Nicole Wines 
Archive Curator and Eco-Culture Coordinator