Man raises money for Marshallese community hit hard by COVID-19

KNWA

Not only is the coronavirus pandemic costing the Marshallese community their livelihoods, for some, it's also costing them their lives.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local man is raising money to help a population hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

COURTESY OF CLINT SCHNEKLOTH

Using social media, Albious Latior is trying to connect the Marshallese community with the resources needed to fight COVID-19.

“A lot of them don’t have any insurance, so they cannot go [get a] check up on their health, and a lot of Marshallese have a chronic disease like diabetes,” Latior said.

As of July 2, more than 30 Pacific Islanders have died from the virus in Northwest Arkansas, specifically in Benton and Washington Counties, according to the county coroners.

When Albious met me this afternoon to deliver the checks, he was coming straight from a funeral.

CLINT SCHNEKLOTH, GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH PASTOR

Burying a loved one is just one of the many financial burdens Latior and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Pastor Clint Schnekloth have been trying to alleviate.

It’s really sad.

ALBIOUS LATIOR, RAISING AWARENESS & MONEY FOR MARSHALLESE COMMUNITY

Together, they have raised $14,000.

All of the money donated is given to the struggling Marshallese community to help them pay for these funeral costs and supplement for a lack of income.

“This is a good way to help the Marshallese poultry workers to get on their feet again after they are in quarantine for two weeks and [are] not being paid for it,” Latior said.

Latior and Schnekloth said right now it’s crucial to make sure we are advocating for those in our community — no matter their background.

COURTESY OF CLINT SCHNEKLOTH

“We are your neighbors, we are your students, we are your friends, we are your colleagues, we are the ones who put food on your table,” Latior said.

Listening to their stories and their voice is just really important right now.

CLINT SCHNEKLOTH, GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH PASTOR

If you would like to donate to the cause, Schnekloth said you can do that through Facebook @GoodShepherdNWA or online.

Thank you all, Kommol tata!

ALBIOUS LATIOR, RAISING AWARENESS & MONEY FOR MARSHALLESE COMMUNITY

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