Relief fund provides assistance for La Colonia families

Relief fund volunteers have been receiving thank you letters from local children.

A relief fund has been created to help Solana Beach families with children in local schools who have been affected by job loss and other impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Word got out and we’ve been able to raise thousands of dollars,” said Monica Stapleton, a 20-year Solana Beach resident.

The money is being used exclusively to help La Colonia families, unless otherwise specified by the donor. Stapleton added that it’s been a “beautiful collaboration of community members helping their own.”

To date, the fundraising has provided 20 local families $200, along with gift bags that include disinfected toys. Stapleton said they hope to help another 40 families. The group plans on distributing funds before the end of April to help the families pay their rent in May, according to the fund’s webpage.

The volunteers working on the fund have been reaching out to local groups that have phone numbers and emails of local immigrant families whose household incomes have decreased because of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Closures of restaurants, bars and other businesses deemed “non-essential” by the government have led to skyrocketing unemployment throughout the country. School closures throughout the nation have also placed an additional burden on parents to replace the meals and other services they would normally receive through their school districts.

San Diego County reached about 2,000 COVID-19 cases entering this week, including six in Solana Beach. In North County coastal communities from Del Mar to Oceanside, there are 153 cases, according to county data.

Elected leaders and public health officials throughout the nation are trying to figure out how to reopen society without exacerbating the crisis.

One Solana Beach family wrote in a letter to the La Colonia relief fund volunteers that the money from the relief fund allowed them to afford their internet and groceries.

“Receiving your donation brought a spark of hope and motivation to our household and I am more thankful for that,” the family’s letter read.

Some of the key contributors to the fundraising effort have been Marisol Sotelo, a local mother in the English Learner Advisory Committee, the Solana Beach Dad’s Club, Mark Kowieski, Dave Schulman and Lauren Adams.

Stapleton said she’s been involved in other community fundraisers, and has always been “equally overwhelmed by the support.”

“While I’m humbled and grateful, I’m not surprised at all,” she said.

Contributions to the fund are tax deductible. For more information, visit