A young woman with a child discovers her husband has left her. She doesn't have money, food for her baby or a job. She finds a place to stay with friends who don't have much and are stretched thin supporting her and her young child. Desperate for help, the young mother goes to an organization she has heard can help her. She goes to Casa de los Pobres, a Serving Hands International partner in Tijuana, Mexico. She is able to receive basic provisions of food for herself and her child. Now, having gained a sense of dignity, she volunteers to package and sort goods for other families in need. Soon, her volunteering will provide her skills that are valuable for a job…and in the meantime she is able to give back to the organization that rescued her and her child. Casa de los Pobres is one of Serving Hands International’s 43 partners’ organizations in Mexico that receives a bi-monthly essential food donation. The essential food is rice, beans, flour, sugar, oil, fresh fruit and vegetables. These groceries are a challenge to acquire for many women and hard pressed families due to strained or depleted finances. Serving Hands International was able to provide these essentials to over 45,000 people in need during 2013. The food donations provided are made possible by our sponsor A-1 Self Storage and donors like you!
A year ago our team could not have imagined the impact of each life ministered to through Serving Hands International and its partner organizations.Yet Serving HandsInternational carried out their mission and in great delight surpassed the impact that was made in 2012. This feat was made possible through the tireless efforts of Serving Hands’ partner organizations, their dynamic programs and their faithful administers and volunteers. In partnership with each of them 225,000 people were recipients of positive programs within the countries of Mexico, India, Ghana, Tanzania, Peru, Philippines, and South Africa. Serving Hands International’s mission is to aid the poorest people in the world while striving to encourage in them self-sufficiency, dignity and hope by providing educational and vocational opportunities, food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance and spiritual guidance. We thank our partners, volunteers, premier sponsor A-1 Self Storage and YOU our generous donors who have encouraged Serving Hands to continue in our mission and in so doing making lasting impacts in the lives of individuals worldwide.
December, 2013-Serving Hands International Annual Christmas Tradition Program continues to generate joyous and lasting memories for our partner organizations and their communities. One such story, retold by Father Francisco Javier of a Tijuana Parish, is evidence of that fact. His story, translated into English, demonstrates the happiness and relief felt by those who are elected to participate in the SHI Christmas Tradition Program. “After the main distribution of Serving Hands International food bags donated to my parish, there were 6 food bags remaining which I planned to deliver. I drove to an underprivileged area close to the water dam. It was now past 6 p.m. and quite dark outside when I saw a very small humble home with a faint light. I sounded the horn and a man with extreme caution peered out of the doorway. He asked 'May I help you?' I told him I was Father Francisco. I shared that I had brought a food bag to deliver to the less fortunate families in the neighborhood. As I spoke I delivered such bag into his hand and asked him to share with his family. In that moment, the man dropped to his knees and raised his arms to the sky saying, 'I thank God for this gift, this was going to be the saddest Christmas of my life - not having anything to feed my family.' He then stood up and went quickly inside his house screaming, “Family, God sent us dinner!” I could hear his wife and children cheering. “This was truly one of the unsurpassed moments of my life,” shared Father Francisco to Serving Hand’s Field Officer Joaquin Hernandez. “This experience has been a compelling motivation to continue to undertake this beautiful project in order to provide a Christmas dinner to just such less destitute families!” With humble thanksgiving we acknowledge the generosity of Serving Hands International donors and our Sponsor, A-1 Self Storage without whom Serving Hands International Christmas Tradition Program would not be possible. Through your generosity families in Tijuana were fed this year and for the past 31 years when the program began.
Serving Hands International hosted their annual luncheon celebrating 31 years in service on October 3, 2013. The event featured the largest turn out to date with 140 current SHI Partner ministry leaders and program directors joining in the celebration! Among them were 34 sisters, 30 priests and San Diego's own Bishop Cirilo Flores. Together with Serving Hands Founders, Board members and staff, we celebrated another great year of Serving Hands International’s commitment to service. Exemplifying Jesus' calling to serve the poor and partaking in the joy of following Mother Teresa’s mission “Unless life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile” has always been the intent of Serving Hands International's founders, Terrence and Barbara Caster. As they fellowshipped with those who have taken their modest legacy and expanded the mission, the Casters were provided a video presentation highlighting 3 partners with a simple message, that they would carry on the legacy by which Serving Hands was created and continue to make a difference in the lives of people who need help. In turn, the Casters expressed their thanksgiving to God for bringing along more servant hands who can carry on God's work. The Caster family, Serving Hands International Board, Staff and volunteers want to thank you, Serving Hands International Partners for carrying on the legacy!
What began as a community activity turned into a city wide event. The Sisters known as the Trinitarians of Mary welcomed over 1,000 youths to celebrate World Youth Day in Tecate, Mexico on July 27 & 28, 2013. A comprehensive and intense program was created to reignite the concern for the youth within the community. The program included an emphasis on building relationships, reconnecting with the body of Christ and being encouraged in God's love. Sharing with Serving Hands International's Field Officer, Joaquin Hernandez, Sister Katharina stated, "In the presence of so many young people who have expressed familiarity with suffering, loneliness and abandonment, we yearn to be the consoling voice of Christ in their lives." One of the many volunteers added, "I was without awareness of this intense love for my faith until I witnessed this event!" A donation made by Serving Hands International and the owners of A-1 Self Storage to the Trinitarians of Mary helped provide food, water and other supplies to make the two day event possible. Thanks to the generosity and support of A-1 Self Storage and donors like you the participation in World Youth Day - Tecate was made possible. Thank you for investing in the lives of Tecate's Youth!