A Birthday Celebration

A Birthday Celebration

At La Posada, it’s all hands on deck when it comes to celebrating a birthday. This time we celebrated Program Director Sister Zita Telkamp’s birthday. These special events not only allow for taking time to honor someone’s life, it also provides the staff and clients time to smell the flowers – literally. While the break is brief, it is ever so appreciated – particularly when ice cream and cake are involved. Happy Birthday and Happy Year Sister Zita!

One Man’s Gift of Sharing Benefits
La Posada Clients & Staff

Mike Usiak, is one of La Posada’s latest visiting volunteers who springs from out of state.  Mike is a parishioner at St. Teresa of Avila Church, in Chicago.

He took a break from his ministry at Fourth Presbyterian Church as Presbyterian Meals Chef and Coordinator for the Church’s Outreach Program.  This ministry serves hot meals on Sunday and Monday evenings and feeds anyone who needs a meal, up to 200 people– those living on the street or shelters, etc. – and provides bag lunches on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  This ministry provides more than 3,000 meals per month.

Prior to this ministry, Mike worked for Inspiration Corporation which teaches job training skills (writing a resume, preparing job applications, etc.) to those in transition from homelessness, incarceration, etc. The corporation also owned a restaurant where Mike was in charge of teaching culinary arts and job training skills for those interested in pursuing a career in that profession.

This past week Mike spent three days at La Posada helping tutor clients with ESL and he also lent us his culinary arts expertise by helping the La Posada kitchen staff produce another Hands & Hearts Gourmet Dining experience (See related gourmet dining story below).

Thank you Mike for sharing your time, talents and treasure with us. And many thanks to all the parishioners of St. Teresa of Avila Church in Chicago, a community that continues to provide our ministry with volunteers and financial support! We are humbly grateful.

Chicago Volunteer tutors ESL student

Another Gourmet Dining Adventure

at La Posada

Offering a gourmet dining adventure – La Posada style has become a very popular live auction event at La Posada’s annual Hands & Hearts Brunch & Auction. This year was no exception, but it came with a new twist. The chefs were Angel Lopez and Shalom, both former clients of La Posada and both certified food preparers. Angel’s native country is Honduras and Shalom’s is Zimbabwe; hence the meal reflected influences from the cuisines of both countries.

An unexpected treat was to have the addition of a guest chef from Chicago, Mike Usiak. (Refer to the related story above.) Auction winners Victor and Mary Spaulding pictured with their guests appear to have enjoyed the feast.

Guests Bruce and Ruby Shaw

Hands & Hearts Live Auction Winners Victor & Mary Spaulding

Guests Malia and Bruce Hedin

Law Students Use Spring Break to Assist ProBAR Attorneys and Visit La Posada

Law students from DePaul University and the University of California at Berkeley traveled to the Rio Grande Valley in order to volunteer during their spring break. Under the supervision of ProBAR attorneys, the law students volunteered to assist asylum seekers at the Port Isabel Detention Center. The students helped detainees from various countries complete their asylum applications and gather supporting documents. During their visit, the students visited La Posada Providencia. The visit allowed the students to more fully understand the immigration process occurring at the border. Harlingen ProBAR Director Kimi Jackson remarked that these visits are “always a tremendously impacting experience.”

We welcome the opportunity these visits offer – they provide the students with an additional view of the immigration process. We remain grateful to ProBAR for their work on behalf of asylum seekers.

University of California at Berkeley students From left; Anya Ku, Felix Mendez-Burgos, Program Director Sister Zita Telkamp, Maia Livengood and Oscar Sarabai Roma

DePaul University students From left: Michael Santomauro, Stephanie Gibbons, Samantha McCoy, Annie Slushur, Monica Saavedra