February News and Notes from Neddy
Dear friends -
I hope this issue of our newsletter finds you in good health,
spirit, and with hopeful anticipation for the future. At the
Spanish American Center
we have been celebrating the kindness of the community we share and are grateful to be able to provide services to those in need in partnership with you, our friends both new and established. As you scroll through the articles below, please know that our work could not be accomplished without the help of people like you, as well as our dedicated staff, volunteers, board members and funding sources such as
United Way of North
Central MA Agency on Aging
In a few weeks I will be traveling to Puerto Rico, and will be doing some fact-finding along the way. I will share with you all in upcoming newsletters my first hand experiences as I bear witness for us all of an island of our fellow citizens who are still coping with a challenging disaster recovery.
Here, our ongoing food security programs, social programs and advocacy work continues. Our two newest staff members, Tamara Castro and Yemni Tahi Mendez have been at work assisting us with increased caseloads, helping families arriving from Puerto Rico and connecting them with services available through FEMA, etc. We were pleased that the Massachusetts Congressional delegation recently returned from Puerto Rico. One result was a local meeting with Congressman Jim McGovern, who met with local agencies and providers regarding ongoing needs of evacuees driven here by the continued challenges in the islands. (An example of the impact: Our food pantry has expanded - we have now been making 2 - 3 trips per month in order to accommodate the growing demand.)
On a very positive note, we are pleased to tell you that Lin-Manuel Miranda and his family foundation helped us have a very successful Three Kings celebration, providing toys and gifts for children and families in need. (Read more about this below, with pictures and links to his web site).
We have been helped so much by various community business and social programs including Montachusett Area Rotary Club, HealthAlliance Guild, Keller-Williams Realty, Village Mortgage Leominster, Fidelity Bank and Hannaford Markets. All have stepped up with donations, fund drives, food drives and shared concern. I continue to thank everyone for their help now and in the past.
In closing, please know that you are always welcome to come by the Center to meet our dedicated and welcoming employees and volunteers. We are eager to meet you and to assist wherever we can -- we pride ourselves in satisfying our community friends and neighbors. Have a happy February and stay warm.
Neddy Latimer, Director, Spanish-American Center