Friday, March 13, 2015
Andrés gave me ideas about how I might try to help out immigrants elsewhere, such as providing them with an ID from SEEC or another organization they can reach out to. He reminded me that God loves ALL His children and doesn't ever discriminate. The center was simple but enough for individuals to gather, grab a bite to eat, and support one another. It was great! :)
Diana Belén Delgadillo
Monday, March 9, 2015
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Friday, March 6, 2015
As we walked up towards the front door of St. Edward's, a little face popped into the window. 9-year-old Elijah, or Eli as his friends call him, was one of the first to greet us into this parish. Since his dad works for Father Honest, he is able to spend his time safely in this parish. This initially quiet kid has brought smiles and hope all around. He has gone from barely talking to rapping on stage for us, and although I had to make up a name for myself so he would remember, hearing him call "Lula!" never fails to bring a smile to my face. The consistent willingness to help us vacuum rooms, carry out trash, or even sit in mass with us is incredible. As helpful as he is, Eli is still a kid and has given us a break from work; whether it's making snowballs, or playing cards or basketball, this boy has shown us that taking a break from work is fun and not to take anything for granted. Although we all agree that Eli is lucky to have this parish to come to, we really hope he pursues his goal to go to college and is able to grow with the support of Father Honest and the parish.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Monday, March 2, 2015
Part two of our day focused on food security as we took a tour of AFAC headquarters. AFAC is the Arlington Food Assistance Center. The passionate and stylish, Koube, Director of Operations, gave us the tour. We learned about how Arlington county's food pantries are run. There are eighteen centers serving 2200 families or about 7000 people. It was moving to learn that 70% of the people served at AFAC are working, but they do not earn high enough wages to support themselves and their families. The other growing population is those who are disabled and seniors with fixed incomes. It was also interesting to learn their philosophy of hunger because they see that hunger usually stems from another problem. With this in mind, AFAC allows only a one time walk-in. After this one time shopping experience in AFAC, one must receive a referral from a social worker. This way the families can also work on other problems that they are facing. Finally, Koube emphasized the importance of hunger as a basic human right. All the people who come into AFAC are treated with respect as they go through a shopping experience and get to choose what they would like to get. The dignity of human life is very well respected there as it should be. It's so meaningful to see other young people making differences in their lives after college. I think we walked away with some inspiration and see the importance of respecting the people we meet.
Today we got to help out at the parish's thrift store, Matthew 25 Bazaar! It's a small store, but everything is free for anyone who needs it. Sally, the co-coordinator, explained to us about the how everything works. Open 4 days a week with a total of about 57 volunteers, anyone is welcome to take a limited amount of items depending on how plentiful the donations are. Although they were on a shortage of winter clothes, there was still plenty for us to do. From separating the donations by category, to organizing the racks of clothes by color, or obsessing over all the cute baby clothes, we all had a great time lending a hand! It's so amazing being able to have the opportunity to help others, especially with such an amazing parish! This particular event has inspired the Arlington/Baltimore group to bring back our experience back to Duquesne. After seeing how fortunate we are in school to have what we do, we would really like to make an initiative to make it easier for students and faculty to donate clothes and furniture wherever needed. This is especially after seeing how quick people are to just throw out perfectly functional items that could be used by others. This initial day has provided such an inspirational and educational purpose already, we can't wait for what the rest of the week has in store for us!
Sunday, March 1, 2015
I am completely shocked by how proactive this parish is! There are so many ministries and they all aim to spread the good works of our Lord to EVERYONE. Truely welcoming and one to aim at shaping our own parishes like.
and we've been here for less than 24 hours. The trip started off with a bang as we headed to Virginia. Jamin' with Linda in the party van was such a blast! Getting to know everyone in the car really made me realize that this group instantly became comfortable with each other and it took no time for us to start cracking jokes and sharing stories. The beautiful sun was so kind to shine on us as we rolled into Arlington. After we settled in and got used to our new home for the next few days, we met the priests of the Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church. They are just such great men and so adorable! We had THEE MOST incredible Pad Thai I have ever had! With our overly full tummies, we decided to check out the FDR and MLK memorial in DC. There was something so beautiful about the night air and the lights reflecting on the monuments that made me so thankful to be apart of this great country. I am so grateful for the historical path paved for my success by these
brave men and women. It was a great first day in Virginia!