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News About Epilogos Charities, Inc.
Epilogos Charities, Inc. in San José Villanueva, El Salvador July 2018, Issue 14
 

EDUCATION: A RISE ABOVE GANG VIOLENCE

Epilogos Charities is proud to announce the June 2, 2018 graduation (with honors!) of Victor Salvador Valle Cruz from Padua Franciscan High School in Parma, Ohio. Salvador was born and raised in El Salvador. Many volunteers who have traveled to San José Villanueva over the years have watched him grow up. He is the son of Ana Valle Cruz who was the house manager for Mike and Susie Jenkins when they lived full time in San José Villanueva. Ana managed, with great kindness, to provide meals and a much needed calming spirit for the hundreds of volunteers over the years that crossed the threshold of the Jenkins’ home during their SJV trips.

By completing his high school education in the U.S., Salvador was able to leave behind the ever growing gang violence in SJV which most likely would have had an unfortunate impact on his continuing education. Salvador’s current achievement is due, in no small part, to Rick and Shelley Mack, who coordinated Salvador’s acceptance into the Padua High School’s Foreign and International Student Exchange Program. Rick and Shelley were more than just Salvador’s U.S. host family. They provided familiar, loving support and safety, allowing Salvador to confidently achieve his goals.

Salvador’s tuition was funded, in part, by Padua’s Exchange Program as well as the Berea-Midpark Solidarity Group, a group founded by Rick Mack in which students, staff and alumni of Berea-Midpark High School in Berea, Ohio, travel to San José Villanueva to work on community building projects.

Salvador will soon attend a 2 year Community College in the U.S., offering him advantages and opportunities unlikely available to him in El Salvador. Congratulations Salvador! Your hard work has inspired us with a glimmer of hope that other students from El Salvador, through education, may realize dreams that often seem impossible amidst the growing threats of continued violence and uncertainty in El Salvador.


Left, 2006: Young Salvador walking to school in SJV with Mom and Ignatius MacLellan

Right, 2018: 12 years later at graduation in the U.S. with the Jenkins and his mother Ana.

MARCH MADNESS

For the last four years, John Novak, the El Salvador Committee Chairman at St. Joseph Church in Strongsville, Ohio, has run a very successful March Madness Square Pool fundraiser. (For those not familiar, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament is known by many as March Madness.) Donations raised by John’s event are then divided; half to winning participants, the other half toward programs in El Salvador. This includes Epilogos Charities programs. Many prize winners often generously donate their final winnings back to John’s El Salvador fundraiser. Knowing that the excitement of this “madness” also supports a worthwhile cause is often the prize itself.

Susie Jenkins with John Novak

In 2015, Epilogos Charities was the recipient of $3190 raised by John’s March Madness Square Pool. In 2017, $2000 was donated to Epilogos to fund the salary of the Science teacher at La Mendieta Middle School in SJV. This is the only school in La Libertad, the “departamento” or area in which SJV is located, that has a science lab. John’s 2018 pool raised $4000 which was again donated to the programs of Epilogos Charities and will be used to provide much needed bathroom repairs to SJV schools.

Over 4 years, John Novak had raised and donated $11,102 to much needed programs in El Salvador. How fabulous is that?! Epilogos Charities would like to thank John and all the participants who have made this a continued success. Your small square becomes part of even a larger grid supporting programs in SJV. March 2019 is around the corner. Who knows? You may be a winner! Epilogos has been a winner since John began this fundraiser.

SJV SCHOOL SANITATION PROJECT

The goal of the Sanitation project is to provide functioning bathroom facilities to over 2900 students in all 8 schools in SJV. This includes installing new toilets, doors, sinks and water tanks. The benefits of this project include improved hygiene, reduction in illness and safe and secure bathrooms for the school children of SJV.

The estimated cost to provide safe, functioning bathrooms in all 8 schools is $15,000. Epilogos has kicked off the project by funding the repairs at El Palomar school which serves over 185 students in grades 1-9 and Las Dispensas which serves over 465 students in grades 1-9.

These improvements provide students with another level of dignity that we in the U.S. often take for granted.

     
Above: School bathroom at El Palomar School – Before
Below: After Repairs
     

WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE MIKE AND SUSIE JENKINS?

So, you though that Mike and Susie left SJV and returned to Concord, New Hampshire to retire? Think again.They are still at the heart of Epilogos Charities. Acting as Ambassadors, they continue to travel in the United States to share the mission of Epilogos Charities, motivate continued support and innovation of SJV programs, as well as personally thank the many, many individuals who sustain the organization. Most fortunately, they continue to travel to El Salvador a few times a year, maintaining and fostering the ever growing relationships between SJV and Epilogos. They remain a valuable and reliable source of the tragic, yet often unpublicized stories that are a part of everyday life in El Salvador. And Mike is relentless, staying informed of and sharing the published news, governmental policies and events that continue to affect El Salvadorans and Americans alike. Retired? Ha!


Left: Mike and Susie Jenkins continue to look forward on Epilogos' behalf.

Right: Unloading 3500 pounds of donated clothing!


NH CLOTHING DRIVE FUNDRAISER A SUCCESS

Thank you to everybody who donated clothes to the first clothing drive fundraiser in New Hampshire to benefit Epilogos Charities. Our goal was to collect 2500 pounds of used clothing in order to raise $500. We surpassed that and collected 3500 pounds of clothing and raised $740! These funds will support the various Epilogos education programs in San José Villanueva.

EPILOGOS BOARD MEMBER HIGHLIGHT: ARIANNA HARRIS

https://www.mcphs.edu/about-mcphs/news/arianna-harris-ot-19#


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How to Donate Now  ____  
           
Online Visit our web site Epilogos.org and look for the donor designation.
           
Via Mail Print and Clip this form and return with your check made to:
Epilogos Charities Inc., PO BOX 22, Nashua, NH 03061 USA.
      
           

           


You will receive a donation letter to use as a receipt of your tax deduction to Epilogos
THANK YOU for your generosity.
Epilogos Charities Inc., PO BOX 22, Nashua, NH 03061 USA.
Epilogos.org
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