When we visited the Ulay congregation in March 2011, we were struck by the energy and optimism of the young people and their parents – in striking contrast to the family stories we heard on our first visit in January 2009, when most children were dropping out of elementary school. Now 24 children are flourishing in school thanks to 21 UUSM families, individuals and groups who reach out to these children as Education Partners. With a modest annual contribution we are making a huge difference in the lives of these students. They, in turn, give so much to us – so we are sharing our joy with these excerpts from some of the letters received by UUSM Education Partners:
From Andrea Rosenfeld: Being an education partner is such a small sacrifice on our end, and yet makes such a huge difference to our partner student. We recently received such a sweet letter from our student, so full of love and gratitude. She wrote: "First of all I would like to greet you [with] a kissable "hi!" I am very happy because I [received honors] and am very excited because I am in grade 5 now. I hope [you] do not regret [your] support of me." It is so important that we are continually made aware of the huge difference our partnership makes to our friends in Ulay.
From Julio: "I am longing to see you sometime my partner and my sponsor. I am happy and grateful for your help, specially the church would not be like this if not for the blessings that you share to us, and as well as the other good things like the school supplies that I would like to express my most heart felt thanks to all of you."
From Rowela: "I'm so thankful to God and you for helping my studies in high school. Our parents could hardly afford to send us to school. I also hope that you could visit our church because we would be happy and honored if you could visit us, friends from other country. Thank you very much. God bless you always!!!"
From Jolina: "We are so thankful to God for this blessing that comes to my life, that send special people like you sponsoring me. Thank you very much for the goodness that you share to me and to my family and to our church as well."
From Andrihina: "My dearest partner and sponsor... I try my very best in my studies. I wish to become a teacher or a nurse someday, so that I could greatly help other people because if I am a teacher, I could help and teach the children but if ever in my second choise become a nurse, I could greatly help sick people."
From Luzminda: "I would like to express my most heartfelt thanks to you and other UU in San Mateo California for the help that you extend to us especially for my studies, to the school supplies which greatly help my study. I take my studies seriously because I know that you are helping me. Thank you very much and more power to you."
From Ashley Kate's mother: “It is my hope and my prayer that we will continue our partnership through exchange of communication. In this way we will know each other's situation in life. By the way, when are you coming back? Ashley Kate always asks when she could see her lola (grandma) Susan and Carol. God bless you always!”
If you long to be the recipient of a “kissable Hi!” please contact Carol Cook or Lori Fox – we have a few new children in need of Education Partners. To all of those who give to support this vital program – many, many thanks!