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The Latino Network receives large donation to help fund its Latinx service center

COURTESY PHOTO: LATINO NETWORK  - La Plaza Esperanza is planned for 2024, pending the successful completion of Latino Network's Soñando Juntos Capital Campaign. Latino Network, a Portland-based provider of culturally specific services in the Latinx community, has received a $1.5 million donation that will help fund the construction of the organization's planned Metro Eastside facility, La Plaza Esperanza, which will be located at 312 S.E. 165th Ave. in Gresham.

The grant commitment is from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and is the largest private contribution in the organization's history.

"We are delighted and full of gratitude for this major grant from the Murdock Trust for La Plaza," said Latino Network Executive Director Tony DeFalco. "Thanks to the Murdock Trust's commitment, and the generosity of other major funders, we are progressing rapidly toward our campaign goal, and our dream of building La Plaza will become a reality."

The $1.5 million commitment doesn't come without a challenge. It is a top-off grant and requires all additional funds to be raised. According to DeFalco, the organization's Soñando Juntos Capital Campaign aims to raise an additional $4.5 million by 2024, when the La Plaza Esperanza is expected to open.

La Plaza Esperanza building will provide an onsite culturally specific preschool and be a hub of social services for East Multnomah County's growing Latinx population. More than 50,000 Latinx community members live within five miles of the site.

"The impact will be huge," DeFalco said. "For all ages, from pre-school children to teens, to whole families, La Plaza will be a second home, where people go to learn, celebrate, find friends, meet needs, get involved in the community and promote change."

"Community-focused organizations like Latino Network provide an invaluable service to our region," said Steve Moore, executive director of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. "As a hub for community resources delivered in thoughtful and contextual ways, organizations like Latino Network help strengthen the city of Portland and the broader Pacific Northwest and we are grateful to play a small role in supporting their efforts."

Since launching its Soñando Juntos Capital Campaign in January 2021, Latino Network has raised $10.8 million toward its $18 million campaign goal; an additional $2.7 million in tax credits is pending.

In addition to Murdock Charitable Trust, many regional foundations have contributed support for the project, including The Heatherington Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, The Miller Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation and many other organizations. The State of Oregon and Multnomah County have also invested in building La Plaza Esperanza.

"We are finding tremendous support for La Plaza Esperanza," said Latino Network Development Director Juan Martinez. "The grant from Murdock Trust is a huge boost. It sends a signal that investment in a thriving Latino community is key to a brighter future for the whole region."

Folks can learn more about Latino Network's Soñando Juntos Capital Campaign and the La Plaza Esperanza at www.latnet.org.


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