And God will generously provide all you need.
Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
As we reach the Christmas season I stop to reflect on how blessed I have been, and at the same time I think about families that are not as fortunate. When we see establishments like Cathedral High School and see the development and new structures on campus we do not associate it with poverty. We stereo-type those who have a private education as an gauge of wealth and fortune. The fact of the matter is that 78% of the students at Cathedral are on financial aide and 35% receive some type of government assistance. My family and I were at this poverty level while I attended Cathedral in the 1980’s. Our Boys of 85 Gift Drive started last year when we heard of a kid who could not afford a pair of shoes, we started off with a goal of $500 to give gifts to a needy family and with the help of you guys we raised $2,685 and were able to help out a total of 3 families. The smiles on these families were priceless, we were giving them a sign of hope, and something to celebrate on Christmas. We noticed that we had a big impact on these humble people and knew that we had to do it again.
This year we are helping out 3 families as well, including one of the families from last year in South Central LA. We found out that the family’s financial situation continues the same as last year if not worst. The CHS student that belongs to this family was missing school on dress up day because he did not own a pair of dress shoes or shirts. Our little Phantom Brother along with his grandmother and sisters eat nothing but Cup-O Noodles, beans and rice, they survive on with what the grandmother makes while selling food at her church after masses. The grandmother puts the education for her grandkids as her priority sometimes over nutrition and other essentials, and the kids appreciate her and follow her lead. Their Christmas list again is a humble request of everyday needs and not luxury.
The secon family is of a senior at Cathedral who lives with his mother in Korea Town. They used to live in a car but they have been giving the opportunity to live in a halfway house along with other families, it is a transitional residence and house of hospitality. They provide safe and supportive housing for women and children in the process of moving from emergency shelter to economic stability and permanent housing. Once again their list consisted of things that we take for granted.
The third family is from El Sereno. The father sells fruit and is the only source of income for a household of 8. Our Phantom Brother stays in an addition to the house that has no electricity and use an extension cord that a neighbor shares with them to provide the minimum lighting for the kid.The father often skips a day of eating to make sure that his sons tuition is paid.
Please help us bring a smile to these families and give our brothers a gift of love from those of us who are grateful for what we have and what God has provided for us. Feel free to Share!
Tony Camarena '85
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