El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Welcome, Spring!

Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.  -- Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart

I love snow days! I enjoy the break from routine...the enforced confinement so I can tackle the tasks that never seem to rise to the top of the to-do list: purge closets, clean cabinets, pack up discards for Goodwill, pull out the Crock Pot for chili, write letters (with stationery and pen!), read in front of the fire. 

The scene was different when my four children were young.The joy of simple tasks with classical music playing in the background gave way to scattered board games and the blaring television, the scramble to unearth the sleds and locate boots and snow pants. The repetitive in-and-out of the house as children search for carrot noses for snowmen and dry socks, puddles and soggy mittens piling up around the door. The dryer constantly humming in the laundry room. Watching the scroll of cancellation notices with crossed fingers--me hoping that SURELY the busses will roll in the morning, and the kids praying the opposite. 

This February, however, during the second snow confinement within two weeks, my enjoyment was tempered by concern for the families of El Buen Pastor. While the young families in my neighborhood of three-story houses and attached garages experienced scenarios like those from my past, how were things going for families living in small apartments and trailers? Were their freezers and cabinets stocked with ingredients for soup and chocolate chip cookies? Did they have stacks of new books to read? Board games? Snowboots? Sleds? Clothes dryers? 

When the cancellation notices cycled across the screen I noticed the factories that were closed and worried about folks who were missing one more shift of work. As I commiserated with cabin-fever-smitten friends about closed restaurants, I thought about the dishwashers who would have to make difficult choices in spending their shrunken paychecks. Which expenditures will they decide to delay--groceries, power bill, rent, or gasoline? Will they be able to send money home to the abuelita who has no other income? What about that visit to the dentist--will it have to be postponed again?

This newsletter serves as the annual report for our fledgling nonprofit organization. Inside is a list of those who made our work possible in 2013 by supporting us financially. Each donation is an act of compassion--a deliberate choice to stand with the poor and to identify with those who live in the margins of our community. My heart overflows with gratitude for each one who made the choice to give.  -- Mary Bolton, Executive Director