Dear Salesian Family and Friends,
How about if I told you that the 90% chance of you having a long and healthy life depends on where you live? Picture meeting 10 people and all those ten people are from different parts of California. If I were to tell you that nine of those people have more opportunities to live long and healthier lives than you just because you grew up in your neighborhood, how would you feel? According to the California Healthy Places Index, this is the reality for children and young people living in Boyle Heights.
A good majority of our children and young people come from single-parent homes. Most of them share households with other family members. They often share their rooms with siblings or family members such as grandparents, cousins, or uncles. Their parents must work two or three jobs to have enough money to survive. In the religious aspect, many of our children are church non-goers. They are Catholics, but they don’t practice. This is the reality of our children. This is the mission area that has been entrusted to the Salesians.
I am sharing this background with you because I believe it is important to see outside of our boundaries. When I ONLY used to serve at St. Dominic Savio, I was never aware of this reality. We were so close, yet so far from understanding each other’s needs. I want to invite you to come and visit us so you can get to know our children and young people. In the same hand, please invite me to go and visit you so we can discuss how we can collaborate. There are many things that we can collaborate on, and our children can benefit from. We are part of a Salesian congregation and we are part of the same family.
Our annual budget is around 700k, and we have 4 full-time and 16 part-time team members who accompany the children daily. Did you know that we serve around 300 children daily, making a difference to 2,000 children and young people yearly? To make ends meet this year, we have decided to have our first annual Gala, and you are invited!
The Gala will be an amazing moment where we will have the opportunity to have fun, see live performances, and more important is to support the Don Bosco mission in Boyle Heights.
Thank you so much for reading this short letter, and please let’s get in contact to see how we can collaborate and support each other.
Jc Montenegro, PhD