Senior of the Month

When we can, let’s all lend a helping hand!

"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain

Seniors of the Month

September 2022 --- Evangelina (Vangie) and David Martinez

Congratulations Vangie and David. La Union loves you.

Vangie & David Martinez

Thank you to the La Union Helping Hands Organization for giving us the honor of being chosen Senior Citizens of the Month and for the privilege of walking down memory lane of what gave us this honor. Our ministry of serving begin with our church—Our Lady of Refuge Church and filtering down into community service. We joined the ladies that had started the St. Vincent de Paul Society guided by Sister Damian. This organization collected food from Casa de Peregrinos in Las Cruces, New Mexico and was supplemented by food donations from various grocery stores. On his day off David was the “go for”. He drove the ladies to the grocery stores to pick up food donations. Because we worked, we would bag in the evenings if the ladies were unable to finish during the day. These bags of food were given to people who needed it, especially families of farm workers. No one was turned away. We collected clothes which were sorted and sold to supplement food items. We later did outreach with the Knights of Columbus from Canutiillo, Texas. They provided food boxes for Thanksgiving and Christmas and our church supplemented the boxes with other food items.

Our responsibility was to go pick up the boxes. We identified families through the church, the school and personal referrals. Santa Teresa Junior High and other schools had food drives and they donated most of their collection to St. Vincent de Paul. We did further outreach through St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. For Christmas families who might not have a good Christmas for their children were adopted by families of St. Luke’s. During our posadas one special night was chosen and both organizations would have a “special posada” The two families would meet and our families went home loaded with their “treasures” which included clothes, toys, etc. For several years the prisoners from the La Tuna trustee farm were busy making wooden toys and we would go pick them up. One special year the warden granted special permission to us to take families to the farm where the prisoners had planned a grand feast for the identified families. Having worked in the schools, I was privileged to help select families or get other teachers to identify them. On the special delivery days before Thanksgiving and Christmas we were busy delivering to the families. St. Mark’s School also was one of our outreach partners. They too would ask for referrals and distribute generous food baskets. With the help of Casa de Peregrinos we also started a program called Food Share. It was a nationwide program where families paid thirty-five dollars a month to participate.

Two trucks and two drivers drove to Las Cruces on a designated Saturday. They left at 3;30 AM to meet the semi-trucks outside the Casa de Peregrinos parking lot. The rest of us met at the old church ready to fix coffee, unload the trucks when they arrived and form an assembly line to fill the boxes. Families were happy with their food supply. They were ready to pay for the next month. The program was a community effort because everyone stayed until everyone had their food box and the center was clean. This program provided lots of fellowship. Through our church youth group, we identified home bound persons or elderly persons that needed work done around their home. The youth would clean yards, as well as the cemetery. In cooperation with the other youth leaders, we helped fix a Thanksgiving meal for the community and the youth and a designated driver delivered to the homebound. David and I were part of the team that began the Volunteer Fire Department. I became a first responder and David a firefighter. It was very gratifying serving our church and community for many years. We are all God’s helping hands!

Vangie and David

Thank you for all your service to

La Union and its families!