2014 has proven to be one of our most exciting years yet as we celebrate ten years of ministry and service to the immigrant community. We’d like to share a few of our accomplishments with you, and also thank you for your support. Without folks like you who believe in us and support us, we couldn’t do what we do.
We began by adding a 10-station computer lab to the Bridges of Hope program site, which gives the 27 students in the after-school program access to computers to do homework. It also offers parents the opportunity to connect with their children’s school and teachers by internet. The 30 ESOL students also have access to the computers. Project ¡Adelante! has also used the lab, providing classes for adults to master computer basics, improve keyboarding skills and learn to work with Microsoft Office programs.
Of the 128 students who received school supplies this year from LUCHA, 3 are college students, and they are among the students who have received supplies each year from LUCHA. Providing the essential tools for education, especially for middle and high school students, helps them focus on their education and follow their dreams.
Ten persons received scholarships through LUCHA to take American Red Cross courses in Spanish in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, and we have received a grant that will fund 20 additional students during 2014-15. In-home childcare providers, parents of children with special needs, and others seeking to improve their skills to enable them to obtain a better job earned certification.
Approximately 1,400 persons received food assistance through LUCHA’s Cinco Panes program during 2014, and an additional 275 children received “Kids on the Go” food assistance during the summer vacation. Between 50 and 60 volunteers run this program, and all are from the immigrant community. Most of them have received food assistance themselves. They work in an outdoor picnic shelter to sort and pack the food boxes, rain or shine, regardless of the temperature. A recent grant means they will soon have outdoor propane heaters for those bitter cold days.
In a given year, LUCHA touches approximately 250 families through its various programs. But while numbers are important, our true impact comes through things that can’t be measured. When we see persons reaching their potential, pursuing their dreams, and serving in their community. When we help reunite families, celebrate births and birthdays, and walk beside people in times of crisis. When we pray for our friends, and see the hand of God working in their lives.
As 2014 draws to a close, I give thanks for the privilege of serving Christ through LUCHA Ministries, and for each and every person who shares in this ministry. ¡A Dios sea la Gloria!