If you’re using a rideshare service at any point in July to get you from point A to B, you have the opportunity to do a bit of good if you opt to ride with Lyft. Last week, the company announced an initiative to raise money and support the immigrant community through low-key fundraising efforts that continue Lyft’s record of service to the riding public.
As a passenger, you’ll have the option when you settle up by “rounding up” your total bill. The additional funds will be directed toward RAICES through Lyft’s Round Up & Donate program. To amplify your generosity, the company will be matching up to $50,000 of these donations during the month of July. Lyft has raised millions of dollars through this program for nonprofits throughout the years.
Lyft has also pledged to donate $150,000 in ride credits to support a handful of organizations that work with immigrants — including RAICES as well as organizations like Deaf Latinos y Familias, Muslim Advocates, and the National immigration Forum — to help relieve some of the expenses that these non-profits would have otherwise incurred. “RAICES compassionately defends and empowers immigrants and advocates for human rights, equality, respect, and the right to migrate,” a RAICES employee explained to the Guardian. “Most of the people we work with do not have access to reliable transportation.”
Beyond contributing to the critical task of fundraising, Lyft has directed some of its energy toward telling the stories of the immigrants who power their business. The company has published on its site a series of profiles, photographs, and short films that tell the human stories of its drivers, a series called “Cities Talk Back.” It’s tagline is America is an idea, not a geography. The series highlights the narratives that can get lost in the politics and headlines surrounding immigrant issues. For example, one of its subjects, José Galvan, is a 23-year-old college graduate, a DACA recipient who works as a theater director and artist — and also drives for Lyft. We get to learn a bit about his personal life, as well as the challenges he faces as a dreamer whose privileges as a temporary legal resident could be revoked at any given moment.
This is certainly not the first time that Lyft has made an effort to respond to current events. Shortly after President Trump first announced his Muslim ban, Lyft announced that it would be donating $1 million to the ACLU through the duration of his term in office (just this one term, that is). “We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community,” they wrote in a statement announcing the donation. While rideshare services have a lot of legwork to do within their own systems to ensure that employees are given real opportunities to succeed and pursue the American Dream, we’re happy to see that Lyft is continuing to put its money where its mouth is in being a corporate advocate for change.