This is the Good News! This week we awarded grants to organizations in which our parishioners are volunteers and leaders. What a powerful SJA experience this is! Grants are funded by our SJA Outreach Fund and give us the opportunity to partner with parishioners in your work in the world. Grants were awarded to:
Centro Guadalupano: $5000 to serve immigrant families with educational and outreach services, located at Holy Rosary Church in the Phillips neighborhood. Letters of support from parishioners Irene Jensen and Jeanne Pietrini, who volunteer with the English Language Learning program for adults.
MicroGrants: $4500 to provide grants to low-income people in the Twin Cities for education and employment goals. Partner agencies refer clients who may then apply for grants averaging $1000. Letters of support from parishioners and MicroGrant board members Mike McCloskey, Joe Selvaggio and Don Hall.
Risen Christ School: $5000 in tuition assistance to families in poverty at this local dual-language grade school, which serves more low-income students than any other Twin Cities Catholic school. Letters of support from parishioners Jane Truhlar, who has been a volunteer teacher’s assistant and tutor for 7 years, and Pattie Zylka, who started as a founding teacher with Risen Christ 25 years ago.
ComMUSICation: $5000 to fund a community youth choir and music program started four years ago in St. Paul's Frogtown Neighborhood. Letters of support from parishioners Camille Kolles and Kevin Lynch, both board members of ComMUSICation.
Carmen Pampa: $5000 to support salaries for professors at this college in the mountains of Bolivia. Letters of support from parishioners Jon and Shannon Pfarr Thompson, who – with their 3 awesome kids – have spent the last 5 months in Bolivia, living and volunteering as an English teacher and technology professional with Carmen Pampa.
Luminarias: $5000 to help buy a van for a residential school in Guatemala that provides housing, food, medical care and tuition to indigenous Guatemalan young women. Letters of support from parishioners Sue Townsend and Anne Bartels, who have both been involved in leadership with this project.
Conversations with Friends: $5000 to provide visits and letter writing to immigrant detainees from all over the world who are being held in Minnesota county jails and detention centers. CWF also provides basic needs including toiletries and books. Letters of support from parishioners Alex Ludescher, Kathy Wedl and Louise Quinn, who serve as letter writers to people being held in detention.
Joyce Preschool: $4000 to support this bilingual, multicultural preschool and its families, where 100% of the graduates in the last 6 years have been kindergarten ready! Letters of support from parishioners Kimberly Gottschalk, who volunteers in the classroom, and Elia Martin Mejia, who is involved as a parent and volunteer.
Thank you to all these organizations and the parishioners who volunteer with them, and to our Justice Grant Committee members Barb Schubring, Mary Jo Malecha, Karen Waldron, Ryan Schultz, Paul Leighton, Kathy Wedl, Jeanne Leighton, LouAnne Sexton, Kate Seng and Judy Saumweber. And finally, thank you to our SJA Outreach Fund donors, who make this glorious expression of our abundance possible.
A blessed Advent and merry Christmas to you all!