A Helping Hand for the West Side of Corpus Christi
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Summer fun at West Side Helping Hand.
Underprivileged kids get the chance to spend the summer outdoors.
Six years ago, Father James Farfaglia arrived at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on Hiawatha Street. He looked around the neighborhood and was shocked by what he saw.
Incarcerated parents, single-parent households, crisis pregnancies, aggressive gang recruitment, drug abuse, obesity and astronomic levels of diabetes dramatically increase the need to positively impact the lives of young Hispanics by curtailing and breaking the cycle of generational poverty.
Father James could not sit back and do nothing.
After walking the beach a couple of times, he decided that immediate action must be taken by starting over with the kids.
With the enthusiastic support of local leaders and charitable foundations, Father James built a kitchen, soccer field, playground, basketball court, a covered pavilion and renovated the parish hall with classrooms to better serve kids, all on the campus of the church.
“You're not going to win kids over by just passing out rosary beads," Father James affirms. "We have to provide dynamic sports-based educational outreach that will give kids a chance on life."
Father James then reached out to Sergio Gonzalez, a former coach who was working at a refinery, to partner up with him to start West Side Helping Hand.
Together with an energetic professional staff made up of Garner Burford, Eulalio Martinez, Lillie Moreno and a team of young volunteers, West Side Helping Hand, as a separate non-profit, provides a safe place for young people to grow and develop physically, mentally and morally through academic tutoring, organized sports, character and spiritual formation, job training and skills classes for parents and grandparents.
The summer program and the after-school program are free of charge and continue to provide measurable results that are getting people’s attention.
Corpus Christi Fire Chief Robert Rocha is a supporter of West Side Helping Hand. He says that this is just the kind of outreach the west side needs. “This program is not about the parish, it is about the entire west side of our city,” Rocha explains.
Father James is very concerned about a large number of young people that leave the city. “I want my kids to stay here and rebuild the west side.” With his characteristic smile, Father James says, “Our goal is to produce an educated workforce for the city of Corpus Christi. We want to form young people who are responsible, mature, well-behaved and have a strong work ethic.”
Father James and his team of professional educators need your help now. Hit the donate button now and donate $10 every month. Your tax-deductible monthly donation of $10 will give a kid on the west side of our great city a chance to live a successful life.