News for Amigos de Casa San Jose: January, 2022

Two years ago, Casa San Jose’s Case Manager in Ambridge, was helping a mother, originally from Guatemala, enroll her 4-year old daughter in an area preschool. The school district required medical and dental records. But the little girl was in desperate need of dental treatment. The case manager arranged for the mother and daughter to be seen at the Dental Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh.“The dentist said if they had waited any longer, the little girl may not have lived because the infection was so bad,” says the case manager. The cost of treatment was almost $4,000 and the family had no way to pay it. The expense was covered by The Sisters of St. Joseph, Good Samaritan Church and Casa San Jose. 

Now at age six, the little girl is doing well and thriving at school.

“She is happy, not sad like when I first met her,” says the case manager. “But there are many other kids who need dental treatment that their families can’t afford.”

If you’d like to contribute to the dental care of Latino children in Ambridge, visit our donation page and select  “Casa Satellite – Ambridge” under designation. For more information related to donations, please contact Sister Karen Stoila at srkaren@casasanjose.org. 

El Día de Reyes 

Three Kings Day, or El Día de Reyes on January 6, is an important holiday for many Latinos as it celebrates the adoration of baby Jesus by the Three Wise Men. To honor this day, Casa San Jose gave 75 activity boxes—decorated by our volunteers—to children to put hay or grass inside for the Wise Men’s camels. Parents were given instructions to tell their children to place the boxes underneath their beds for the camels to enjoy after their long journey. When the children opened their boxes the next morning, they found candies and toys to enjoy throughout the day. Our thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and our volunteers for helping with this joyful celebration!

Born Together

Expectant Latino mothers in our Born Together program took part in a prenatal class offered by our partner, Squirrel Hill Health Center on January 9. Participants also learned about the symptoms of postpartum depression from Casa San Jose’s Mental Health Coordinator, Jannette Castro. If you or someone you know is interested in our Born Together program, call 412-343-3111, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Keeping Warm  

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Casa San Jose distributed winter coats to 84 families last month. The coats were delivered the week before Christmas with the help of our volunteers and staff. 

Skating and Skateboarding Fun!
Representatives from the Pittsburgh Penguins invited families of Casa San Jose to a private ice skating session on January 12 at the Hunt Armory Ice Rink in the East Liberty area. Skate rentals were free and the rink’s staff helped those who were skating for the first time. 

On January 15, Switch and Signal Skate Park in Swissvale hosted a group of 12 youth from Casa San Jose. Participants picked out a skateboard and helmet and then received a free skateboarding lesson. 

Our thanks to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Switch and Signal Skate Park.

Love Notes 

You can help us reach our goal to distribute over 600 Valentine’s cards and show immigrants they are not forgotten. We are looking for volunteers to show love and support to Latino and non-Latino immigrants detained at Moshannon Valley Processing Center. Here’s how you can help: 1) Write one phrase of support. You can find suggested phrases here. 2) Decorate your notes like a Valentine’s card. 3) Bring your card(s), without an envelope or postage, to Casa San Jose at 2116 Broadway Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15216 by February 6, 2022. Thank you! 

Get Out to Vote

We are in need of volunteers to register community members to vote and/or participate in “Get out to Vote” work. Volunteer opportunities include text outreach, phone banks, and door to door campaigning to educate registered voters who identify as Hispanic, on the option of voting by mail. Outreach work also involves ensuring that registered voters who plan to vote in person, know their polling location and have access to transportation if needed. For more information, contact Billy Reeves at billy@casasanjose.org.

Monica, Sister Janice, Sister Karen, Veronica and the entire staff offer much gratitude to all who made our Christmas celebration and year end at Casa San Jose so wonderful for nearly 200 families. We received cash gifts of $27,925 for the year end and the Christmas appeal, many gift cards including those from Women of Calvary, Dr. Mark and friends, Bower Hill Community Church and anonymous donors, new coats, and lots of toys. We thank each and every one who thought of us during the season of giving.
  • Casa San Jose received a $500 prize for the most money raised by a small budget organization through Give Big Pittsburgh on December 1, 2021. Thank you to all of our donors who made this win possible! 
  • In less than 24 hours, 45 people signed up for in-person Beginning ESL classes which are taught by Casa San Jose volunteers in Brookline and East Liberty. If you are interested in teaching ESL for future classes, please contact Ruth Farrell at eloffice@casasanjose.org
  • Read more about Diego, our volunteer of the monthhere.
  • Job Opportunity: The Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh has an opening for a full-time Research Coordinator to work on projects focused on preventing dating and domestic violence and supporting immigrant and refugee communities including Casa San Jose. You will be involved with multiple tasks such as helping recruit and pay participants, conducting interviews and focus groups, doing data analysis, facilitating community partner meetings, and writing manuscripts and reports. There are great opportunities for continued learning/coursework and professional development. You do not need to have any prior research experience, although that is helpful and you must be bilingual in Spanish and English. For more information, contact Maya Ragavan at ragavanm@chp.edu by February 15, 2022. 
  • Viviendo Sobrio: AA meetings for Spanish-speaking participants are being held at Casa San Jose, Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. For more information, contact Casa San Jose at (412) 343-3111.

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