PREPARES of Central Washington has been awarded a $25,000 grant by Our Sunday Visitor Institute (OSV) for PREPARES en español, a project devoted to developing leadership and support to Spanish speaking communities. PREPARES Pregnancy and Parenting Support, a program of Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington, serves families across Washington State, meeting essential needs by providing the formation of volunteer teams to support pregnant women and parenting families with young children. Nearly 1,400 low-income adults and children were impacted last year by PREPARES volunteer support in the crucial first five years of the children’s lives. In the Diocese of Yakima, where 75% of parishioners who attend Sunday Mass are Hispanic, PREPARES is now reaching out to potential volunteers and families in the Hispanic community through PREPARES en Español.
The funding provided by the OSV grant will help support a bilingual coordinator who will implement PREPARES en Español in eight parishes, training Spanish-speaking volunteers and Family Companions to walk the parenting journey with the family. They will provide services to low-income Hispanic families, including those in migrant camps when parents are working in the fields.
“This grant, along with funds provided by our sustaining partners, is a crucial piece towards reaching this large population in the Diocese. PREPARES represents our Catholic faith positively to the families we serve, who see the volunteers acting charitably out of their faith. This is especially true of our Hispanic volunteers, who are very family-oriented, helping those who may not have extended family or relatives to draw upon for help. Meeting the basic needs through a PREPARES bag with diapers, clothing, and blankets is a way of engaging and caring for family,” said Syndee Sauceda Cavazos, PREPARES Program Manager. “We envision communities of volunteers gaining leadership opportunities to serve their community, in their language and culture. That provides a lasting impact on families touched by PREPARES.”
PREPARES sustaining partners include The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Adrian Dominican Sisters Ministry Trust, United Way of Central and Benton/Franklin Counties, and donations from Knights of Columbus and individual donors.
ABOUT PREPARES: The Catholic Bishops of Washington State initiated PREPARES in 2014 as a parished-based ministry provided by the Catholic Charities agencies. Catholic volunteers are the backbone of this ministry, visiting a vulnerable family weekly, helping new mothers, and implementing the tenets of Catholic social teaching. Other parishioners contribute by donating diapers, clothing, formula, and other essential items for babies and small children. Some parishes support PREPARES Play & Learn groups, a place for families to connect and children to learn and interact with their parents through play. PREPARES offers help to all who need it, regardless of their faith. #ThanksOSV