‘Growing Locally, Serving Globally’ with Cristosal
By Todd McKee, Wendy Grace, and Maurice Harris
As we prepare for Christmas, we are mindful that as the Holy Family once fled the violence of Herod so, too, many families in El Salvador are fleeing violence. The good news is that all members and friends of the Episcopal Church in Vermont have the power to make a difference by supporting Cristosal, a non-governmental organization that assists with community development, victims’ advocacy, and the facilitation of human rights research and learning in Central America. Here are just two examples of how you can help during this Advent season:
- Remember Salvadoran families fleeing violence and persecution, and remember the tireless work of Cristosal. You can do this by including Cristosal in your personal prayers and in the Prayers of the People on Sunday, December 18.
- Contribute to the Vermont fundraising goal of $6,000 (the cost needed to receive, protect, litigate, and find safety for one family). This can be achieved through parish outreach funds or by making an individual contribution marked for the “VT Campaign for Salvadoran Families.“
To learn about some of the challenges that Cristosal is uniquely positioned to address, check out last year’s National Public Radio podcast about Salvadoran girls. In this example, having lost her friend to gang violence, 15-year-old Aby felt she had two options: “Hide from gangs or give in to them.” She chose to drop out of school and self-incarcerate.
Cristosal provides youth like Aby, and their families, better options. Cristosal can help families find emergency protection from threats. Lawyers within the Cristosal network lobby government institutions like the Salvadoran Institute for the Advancement of Women to create policies and programs to receive and assist girls like Aby. Additionally, when necessary, Cristosal can help families who have risked everything in the fight for justice get a fresh start elsewhere in Central America.
To learn more about the difference Cristosal has made in the lives of Central American families over the years, read the Cristosal Impact Reports and Newsletters.
The Episcopal Church in Vermont has partnered with Cristosal for the past 15 years. As part of this engagement, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely continues to serve on the board of directors, and groups of Vermont Episcopalians have participated in mission work in El Salvador. Over the next several weeks, as you extend your prayers, dollars, or both, we ask that you be generous in your support!