July 2, 2004
Dear Family and Friends,
As most of you know, for over two years I have been living and working with the Moral Values Program – a grass-roots effort in a poor section of Sacramento aimed at caring for kids. Recently, a special need has arisen. Three of our young people were accepted into Christian Brothers High School for the upcoming school year. For those of us who spent most of our youth in private Catholic schools, this may seem uneventful. But for the children we work with, this accomplishment is life changing.
Most of the children in our area don’t graduate from high school. Some don’t make it through middle school. The gang problem in this part of Sacramento is similar to parts of L.A. Three kids from the local public high school were killed in March. Certain colors cannot be worn in safety. Drugs are easily attainable in houses just across the street from where we live. Without parental support, the youth are vulnerable to the ways of the street.
Angel, Gabriela and Jose spent afternoons, weekends, and holidays working with some very special high school volunteers to prepare themselves for the Catholic high school entrance exam. This spring they received the incredible news of acceptance.
Although a good portion of the tuition is being paid through scholarships, there is still the remainder of the tuition, books, school clothes, and registration to cover. These expenses add up to thousands of dollars that neither their families nor our program can provide.
Inspired by one of my mentors, John Platt, I am going to join him (and thirteen thousand other people) in a bike ride across the state of Iowa from July 24th-30th of this year, in order to raise the needed money. At sixty-eight, John has been riding the “RAGBRAI” (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) for the past seven years as a fundraiser to place hard-to- adopt children. With his expertise to help me out, and my ultra-padded gel shorts from REI, I just might make it!
I am sending this letter to you to ask for a donation of any size. I believe in these three young people wholeheartedly. I have watched them persevere against great odds.
With Extreme Gratitude,
||Angel Perez is a young man who impresses anyone he meets with his active mind. He is extremely diligent in his school work. He holds high standards for himself on every assignment. Angel is being raised by his mother, as his father left the family years ago. Although not one of his older siblings graduated from high school, he has goals of attending a university and majoring in journalism. Angel has a remarkable basketball talent, and pours himself into the sport, shooting 500 free throws daily, come rain or shine.|
||Gabriela Sarabia has been a part of the MVP program since its beginning ten years ago. She has faced many personal adversities in life. Her mom abandoned the family several years ago and has not returned. Her older brother is in jail and her younger brother dropped out of school in the sixth grade. Yet Gabriela has a steadfastness that is inspiring. She has maintained A’s and B’s in all of her classes, and is well-liked by everyone for her honesty and sincerity. She plans to be the first member of her family to go to college.|
||Jose Perez is the model student. He is courteous, studious, and appreciative of his teachers. He was recently confirmed and has strong faith. He is Angel’s younger brother and struggles with the same difficulties of being raised without any support or interest by his father. Jose has already started a very intensive summer school course at CB to prepare him for next year. He finds he has a knack for grammar! He loves baseball and has dreams of attending UCLA.|
Cut and return to Laura Caraccio, 2901 32nd Ave., Sacramento, CA 95824
Please make checks payable to the Moral Values Program. All donations are tax deductible.
Yes, I will be able to help by pledging $_______________ toward the Iowa bike ride. I understand that 100% of my contribution will go toward the academic needs of these three deserving young people.
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