Part of the mission statement for the Springs Learning Statement reads:
“To make a difference in the lives of others.”
The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has been stressful, to say the least, for the people in Fair Haven, CT.
Many of the learners at the Springs Learning Center have lost jobs and were not able to get unemployment wages or stimulus payments. As a result, many were faced with difficult decisions, like whether to eat or pay the rent. Others have struggled to balance their lives, seeking new employment while helping their children with online learning.
Sr. Margaret Mary Kennedy Director of the Springs Learning Center, says that she has been humbled by the resiliency of many learners and their families. “So often,” she says, “People who are facing hard times are tempted to pull in and take care of their own needs. Thank God, that’s not always the case.”
Two Springs learners, Reyna Perez and Aurelia Yocupicio, are prime examples of reaching beyond their own needs to care for the needs of those around them. Both women have been out of work since the pandemic, both have young children, one with special needs, and both have families to raise. This past week, these women were recognized by Mayor Justin Elicker for their work in organizing a food distribution for their neighbors in Fair Haven. Reyna and Aurelia showed strong organizational skills in obtaining, packing, and distributing weekly food baskets to their neighbors. They arranged food collections from local markets, partnered with the local police substation to find a place to hand out the food, and recruited volunteers for this project.
“Throughout my life, I have learned,” said Sr. Margaret Mary, “that the poor sometimes have nothing left to lose and so are among the most generous people. I am privileged to work in their midst. These two women are perfect examples of sharing in the midst of their own need, and we at the Springs Learning Center are proud to have two hidden heroes among us.”