Cross of Glory is the Lutheran Church in Homer Glen, IL where my family has attended church for 28 years. One day our Pastor told us about Donna Quathamer, a local Professor who went to San Miguel de Allende, MX to open CASA de Los Angeles, a free Daycare for families of single mothers. Parishioners from our church supported this mission financially and many volunteered their time at the CASA Daycare. As a Bilingual/ESL teacher, I was fascinated by this mission. In 2007, I joined the Cross of Glory team and volunteered for a week. I loved it and my enthusiasm and passion for this organization grew.
Fast forward 10 years, I spent 3 months as a volunteer at CASA. This was the same time that Donna retired as Director of CASA de Los Angeles. She searched and found a Preschool, non-profit organization, with a similar mission to CASA’s and thus the two organizations merged to become Centro Infantil de Los Angeles.
I was there as the first Volunteer coordinator of this new organization started her job and was blessed to teach her everything I knew about the town and the organization. I collaborated with Patricia Palacios, the Director of the Preschool and Daycare. We shared a common vision for the future of Centro Infantil de Los Angeles.
Several months later, I returned to Centro Infantil with my niece. During this time, I was asked to be on the Board of Directors for Centro Infantil de Los Angeles. That was in 2018. My passion for the organization has not waned.
My Vision and hopes for the future
This is a new year with new possibilities. We can choose to focus on the loss of finances and volunteerism in 2020 or we can choose to continue our mission in San Miguel de Allende, MX, and grow. I believe we are being called to think BIG!
I expect the Daycare center and the Preschool to reopen as soon as we get the Green light. Our daycare is for babies through 3 years. Most volunteers spend their time at the Daycare and fall in love with the mission and the kids. There are already volunteers ready to join us as soon as the COVID 19 restrictions are lifted.
When the state of Guanajuato gives us the green light, we can return to in-person learning at the Preschool. Our preschoolers and their parents have been E-learning, thanks to our devoted Director, Patricia Palacios, and our talented teachers. Parents and family members have had to work together with patience during a very trying time.
It is with love and united efforts that we have provided our families with Dispensas, food donations, and will continue to do so until children return to Daycare and Preschool. We will continue to work with Feed The Hungry in this effort.
One day, our parents will return to work, or find new work. One day soon, our children, teachers, staff, and volunteers will be laughing, learning, and living life in a social context again.
I look forward to working with our talented staff, a network of volunteers, donors, sponsors, and Board members to seek new opportunities for growth in our organization. I am most excited about the Volunteer Network that should roll out in several weeks. It will include an online platform for those who have volunteered at CASA or CILA to connect, share photos and memories, and brainstorm fundraising opportunities. We are also kicking off a campaign to gain at least 21 new Sponsors in 2021.
Difficult Roads Lead to Beautiful Destinations, is the theme of our latest fundraising campaign. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone. I see growth, teamwork, and beautiful opportunities ahead. Will you dream with me?
President of the Centro Infantil Board of Directors