Providence in the Desert receives Foley Grant
Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods ministering to the second- poorest population in the United States have just received a boost to support their ministry.
Thanks to a Coachella Valley, California community member’s charitable contribution, many residents living in poverty will be given an opportunity to improve their situations.
Ted Foley, through his Foley Foundation, a donor advised fund set up with the Desert Community Foundation, has donated $10,000 to Providence in the Desert, a ministry of self-sustainability to some of the poorest residents of the Coachella Valley in California.
Providence in the Desert, a program of Guerin Outreach Ministries and a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., provides English instruction and citizenship classes for adults, music lessons for children and human services assistance to immigrant farm workers near California’ Salton Sea.
Along with the gift money, Foley has arranged for the ministry to receive ten second-hand computers. The grant money will be used to purchase and install the Rosetta Stone Software Program, a multi-sensory tool and proven teaching method for learning a new language, on the computers. The remaining money will be used to hire additional teachers to give English language instruction in students’ homes.
“Our students will be delighted to have this opportunity to learn in a different way. This is an affirmation to them,” said Sister Carol Nolan, SP, director and founder of Providence in the Desert.
“It is not often you are given money for education. I appreciate so much the recognition of the value of education. Education changes people, and this is a great contribution to helping our students learn,” Sister Carol said.
The ten computers with the Rosetta Stone program will be placed in students’ homes. All live in isolated areas and many live in “Duroville,” a large, substandard trailer park where mostly Mexican immigrant farm workers and laborers live in squalid conditions.
Foley is a resident of Indian Wells, which, he points out, is one of wealthiest communities in California. Yet only 15 minutes away is the second poorest area in the United States. Foley is aware of the need in the Duroville community.
“This qualifies as third world as far as I am concerned,” said Foley, who also supports several other projects in the Coachella Valley and in lesser developed countries.
“They are definitely down working in the right area,” he said of Providence in the Desert.
Foley first learned of Providence in the Desert through connections he made helping his local Catholic diocese set up peace and justice committees in parishes.
“When you see people who are for real doing the right type of work, it shows,” he said of the work being done by Providence in the Desert.
By supporting groups like Providence in the Desert, Foley is working to benefit some of the poorest residents of the country.
“Hopefully they can end up with a better life for themselves,” he said.
Providence in the Desert is always in need of volunteers, monetary contributions or gifts in kind to continue to offer its free educational services to some of the neediest residents in California. For more information on Providence in the Desert, call 760-347-3937, visit www.GuerinOutreachMinistries.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Sisters of Providence
The Sisters of Providence, a congregation of 214 women religious, with 300 Providence Associates, collaborate with others to create a more just and hope-filled world through prayer, education, service and advocacy. The Sisters of Providence have their motherhouse at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located just northwest of downtown Terre Haute, Ind., which is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 1840. Today, Sisters of Providence minister in 13 states, the District of Columbia and Asia, through works of love, mercy and justice. More information about the Sisters of Providence and their ministries can be found at SistersofProvidence.org.