By Cassidy Klein
Jessica Chacha, the co-founder of the Jackson Heights-based nonprofit Together We Can Community Resource Center, was named a 2018 WellCare Community Hero by WellCare of New York.
Chacha was awarded for her organization’s work in supporting immigrant families.
The vision of Together We Can is to “create a community center with culturally sensitive programs to meet the needs of the resource deprived and multi-ethnic families of Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst,” according to Chacha.
Chacha worked with Families Building Community, a resource support center in Jackson Heights, from 2008 to 2014. Through this experience, she “fell in love with helping the community by offering support services and linking families to necessary community resources,” according to the Together We Can Facebook page.
The experience made Chacha realize there were needs not being adequately met for immigrant families. Many families did not know where to go for help and were overwhelmed, so Chacha, along with her friend Shanon Getzel, founded Together We Can in 2017 and started a grassroots nonprofit in the heart of Jackson Heights to address the lack of service coordination in northwest Queens.
Six individuals throughout the New York City area were honored by WellCare of New York, which is a healthcare provider. The WellCare Community Heroes awards honor community members and healthcare professionals who “take action to improve communities,” according to John Burke, president of WellCare of New York. All honorees received a $1,000 donation to benefit a charity of their choice.
“At WellCare, we recognize there are many factors that affect the everyday decisions people make about their health and well-being,” said Burke. “We applaud these outstanding individuals whose tireless efforts and dedication go beyond healthcare to help those in their communities live better, healthier lives.”
Other community heroes recognized at the awards were Joseph Corace, Rocio Garcia, Nakiykia “Jada” Hawthorne, Camara Jackson and Stephen Ritz.