Christmas Eve, La Familia Ornelas and Casa Maria!

IMG_0577.JPGby Teresa Ornelas, Chair of the Counseling Department at Pueblo High School for the last 10 years

I want to begin by saying it’s been an honor to serve the Casa Maria staff and community for almost 30 years. It all began quite simply. I was a sophomore at Salpointe Catholic High School and my social responsibilities teacher said we had to take part in a community service project. Not knowing what to do, I asked my dad, Dr. Richard L. Ornelas for ideas and without hesitation, he said “Casa Maria Soup Kitchen!” I was 14-years-old, but Brian Flagg put me to work right away and showed me the ins and outs of every service section.

After serving sometime and seeing firsthand the passion in which Brian and his assistants genuinely served our poor brothers and sisters from the Southside, Casa Maria was at risk of being shut down in 1987. Just imagining what it would be like for our Casa Maria community to go without food horrified me. Just to give you an idea, then and now, Casa Maria serves 500-600 bag lunches and 200 family food bags!! I couldn’t stand to do nothing, so I addressed the politicians and homeowner members at a poignant meeting and told them what I saw, the need there was, what I felt, the responsibility they had to take care of each other in our community, and just work together instead of thinking of shutting the most needy out.

Today is Christmas Eve and it has been years now that my family members, son, nieces, and nephews serve at Casa Maria. My parents, siblings, in-laws, and I believe it’s important to serve our poor brother and sisters on a day when people expect to receive. We believe it’s important to serve and give lovingly that to receive. Merry Christmas!!!

______________________________

traducido por Alicia Nunez

Quiero empezar diciendo que ha sido un honor servir al personal de Casa Maria y a la comunidad por casi 30 años.

Todo empezó cuando estaba en la secundaria Católica Salpointe y la maestra de mi clase social dijo que tenia que hacer servicio comunitario. Le pregunte a mi papa, Dr. Richard L. Ornelas, y él sin pensarlo dijo “Casa Maria.” Yo tenia 14 años pero Brian Flagg me puso a trabajar luego enseñadme los diferentes trabajos en la cocina.

Después de ayudar un tiempo y ver como Brian y sus asistentes ayudan a los pobres del sur de Tucson, Casa Maria estaba en riesgo de ser cerrada en 1987. Solo de imaginar que nuestra comunidad no tendría comida me horrorizada. Casa Maria sirve 500-600 lunches y 200 bolsas de comida para familia!! No me podía quedar sin hacer nada y hable con políticos y dueños de casas lo que había visto, la necesidad de las personas, lo que yo había sentido, la responsabilidad que ellos tenían de ayudar a Casa Maria a la comunidad en lugar de cerrarla.

Hoy es 24 de diciembre, y han sido años que mi familia, a hijos, sobrinos vienen a ayudar a Casa Maria. Mis padres, hermanos y hermanas, pensamos que es importante ayudar a nuestros hermanos en un día cuando ellos esperan recibir algo. Pensamos que es importante ayudar a nuestras generaciones que es mas importante dar que recibir. ¡Feliz Navidad!

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