Spring News in the Neighborhood!

Dear Friends,

As spring arrives and the tulips begin popping out of the ground, I am reminded that there is still news to report from the first of the year. As of January 2011, Casa Chirilagua became its own incorporated entity in the state of Virginia! We are working through the federal 501(c)(3) filings and hope to have that squared away in the next few months. We also added our superstar volunteer, Janice Philips, to the staffing team as our Director of Development.

In the next three weeks, we will have over 100 college students pass through Casa Chirilagua on alternative spring break service learning trips. Truly it is an exciting and busy time.

The planning committee is working to secure space and funding for the launch of a Middle School ministry this summer/fall of 2011.   Please be in prayer for the staff, volunteers and resources necessary to start this important next step to provide continuing support for our growing tweeners.  We will be taking five girls to the Revolve Tour in Baltimore this month and twelve middle school students to Acquire the Fire in May to get some excitement rolling and strengthen relationships as we start the Middle School program.

Kids Club is as healthy as ever with 31 students, an active parents group, engaged volunteers, and a growing student waiting list. All of our Kids Club students have been assigned a one-on-one in home mentor, making our in-home tutoring force 36 mentors strong.

Spring is an exciting time at Casa Chirilagua. The neighborhood bustles with activity as neighbors emerge from their apartments and houses. Children flood the parks and conversations on the front stoop are a daily occurrence. A beautiful spring day accompanied by multiple conversations and check-ins while on a stroll through the neighborhood reminds me why I love my neighborhood. The sense of community I feel from the warm tortilla in my hand that Elizabeth insisted I take straight from the griddle during a quick drop by, makes me feel that I am home.

Casa Chirilagua is up, running and healthy! We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers and hope you will consider giving, volunteering or at least stop by sometime in the coming year. Surely you will be blessed by it.

In Him,
Dawnielle Miller