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Projects for El Salvador/Fundraiser on May 2 and 9


Dear Friend of St. Mary’s,

When I visited Santa Maria Virgen this past December I discussed with Father Julio and their Vestry two projects that St. Mary’s could support in 2010. El Salvador and the community near Santa Maria have endemic problems with youth gangs brought about by lack of economic opportunities and other activities, and these projects are directed at helping solve this.

The first project is a Youth Soccer League for the local community of San Bartolo, which includes youths from elementary age through early adult. The church along with a local community organization ran this program for 1,500 youths in 2009. Loss of funding threatened the program for this year, but we were able to locate other funding of $2000 to continue the program in 2010.

The second project is a vocational school to be housed in the old Santa Maria Virgen church building, still owned by the church and located about 100 yards away from the new church building. Santa Maria has obtained some start-up funding to procure the equipment needed but has asked if we could contribute $2500 toward capital expenses.

To this end, we will be collecting donations at Coffee Hour on both the Sundays of May 2 and May 9, to try to raise this $2500. You can also donate online here.

In addition, during the Coffee Hour on May 2, our youth will be making several “scrapbooks” of pictures, drawings, and St. Mary’s memorabilia that we can also send to Santa Maria Virgen, so that both our youth and the youth of Santa Maria Virgen can feel closer to each other. I will also have a slide show set-up during the coffee hour with pictures from El Salvador.

I realize that the week of “Tax Day” is not the ideal time to be asking for donations, and that many of you have already given generously to Haitian relief earlier this year. Our sister parish in El Salvador has been a part of our parish life for many years, and although these two programs are not “urgent” they are important in helping build community and stability in an area that desperately needs both.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

– Paul Pyzowski

P.S. I heard from Bishop Barahona’s office this past week that he is doing well, and that his driver – who was severely injured in the assassination attempt on the Bishop – is recovering.

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