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Imperial Court distributes grocery store gift cards to workers affected by COVID-19

Photo credit:
Leaders of the Imperial Court de San Diego distributing gifts at a holiday charity drive last year. Photo credit: MIchael Lochner.

The Imperial Court de San Diego has established an emergency fund to assist local community members whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over $5,000 worth of grocery store and food gift cards have been purchased or donated for distribution to those in need.

Today, the fund began distributing grocery store gift cards to workers in the restaurant, bar, nightclub, and entertainment industries. Within San Diego’s LGBTQ community alone, hundreds of workers have found themselves jobless or with seriously reduced hours within a matter of days after the mandatory closure of bars and nightclubs, along with restaurant operations limited to take-out only. The closure of bars and nightclubs means that not only are the bartenders of these establishments out of work, but all of the support staff and entertainers who make all or part of their living in the industry. 

The fund will also distribute gift cards to many others in the community who are facing challenges during the pandemic including seniors, families, and those served by the San Diego LGBT Community Center. A waiting list is already starting to form of people requesting support.

Many community members immediately responded to the Imperial Court’s call by donating to the fund, including Bill Ash who contributed $1,000. Those who wish to contribute to the fund can do so by contacting Nicole Murray-Ramirez at 619-241-5672 or Big Mike at 619-807-7324. Monetary donations or grocery store gift cards are welcome. Checks can be mailed to the Imperial Court de San Diego at PO Box 33915, San Diego, CA  92163. Donations can also be made by credit card. 

Those who wish to be added to the list to receive a gift card can contact Big Mike by call or text to 619-807-7324 or by sending him a private message on Facebook.