Massimo Lagazzi is a junior year student at Fox Chapel Area High School. He is also the founder of the school’s Latinx Heritage Club, a place where students of Latino background can come together to learn, share and spread the “rich and diverse cultures of Latin America,” as Lagazzi writes in a statement.
This year Lagazzi and the Latinx Heritage Club have joined forces with the school’s Spanish club, directed by Lucas Gravina, to create a GoFundMe for Latino families and individuals who are facing immigration difficulties. The idea was thought up by Fox Chapel’s Spanish teacher and Spanish Club sponsor Mrs. Barone, and is being carried out in a joint effort across the two clubs.
The program will be hosted in collaboration with local Latino non-profit, Casa San José. The current goal of the program is to help “those who have immigrated to the United States, and are currently undocumented, seeking asylum or their permanent residence has expired, and who want to start the legal process to regularize their situation definitively,” Lagazzi writes.
Combined, both clubs are hoping to raise $4,000 dollars to help with bond funds. As Lagazzi explains in the club’s written statement,
“Our program seeks to create a fund to finance the bond or guarantee for all those people who do not have the resources for their direct payment. This bond will allow an undocumented person to be released and start their trial with their loved ones. In addition, this bond has the great characteristic of being recyclable, that is, once a person’s trial is over, this bond will be returned to Casa San José, thus allowing another person in need to use it.”
Although the clubs have already hosted events, they have only collected about half the resources they need. Students hosted a car wash at Mr. Tire’s Fox Chapel location and sold Latino food at school, with many parents providing support by donating homemade food and car wash materials, but now the clubs are turning to their local community in hopes of help to reach their goal. As Lagazzi states, “we need the help of the entire Pittsburgh community. We hope that our Latino Community can help us reach this goal!”
The clubs’ GoFundMe page is called “Support Pittsburgh Immigrants: Create a Bond Fund” and can be found at https://gofund.me/6a221bb4.