“Casa gives us HOPE,” Leonora* remarked, walking through the streets of her neighborhood. “They believe in us even when we don’t believe we can do it,” she reflected about the staff, mentors and volunteers who’ve walked with her these past 5 years. Now the 9th grader was walking the neighborhood streets with Casa Chirilagua board members for their annual retreat.
Afterwards, board member Fernanda Montaño shared, “Our amazing guide, Maria, explained to us how the community comes together on a daily basis to help each other out, to take care of each other’s kids, to watch out for each other, and to encourage each other.”
During the October retreat, board members were invited to take in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and experiences of the Chirilagua neighborhood as they spent the day learning about the community they love and serve alongside. Dorian Belz, Casa’s newest board member, who also volunteers as a mentor commented, “I was encouraged by the stories of learning to care for ALL of God’s children, despite our different upbringings and cultural backgrounds. God has helped to give each of us a glimpse into how He views His children.”
The board gathering included a Central American style meal at local favorite, Veronica’s Bakery and Cafe, as well as a tour of the facility which will become Casa’s new community center in the coming months. “The most impactful part of the retreat was seeing the new building, and being able to visualize the things that Casa Chirilagua will be able to do with this space and what it will mean for the community,” commented board member Dan Batlle.
It wasn’t all fun and games. The Casa board also engaged in training sessions, a time of prayer accompanied by a study in the book of Nehemiah, and finished with lively board meeting discussions. Vice Chair Isaac Simerly noted, “I was encouraged by the board’s genuine interest in understanding how our budget works as well as the number of good things that are happening at Casa and how many new people are getting involved.”
The Casa board couldn’t do any of this without you! Your support is facilitating lively board meetings and a healthy organization. Your gift fosters unity and community-building for neighbors like Leonora and Maria. You are giving kids hope. You are helping young people believe in themselves. As Leonora clearly stated, “Casa gives us HOPE.”
*Name changed for privacy