Fernando’s gratitude

I’m not accustomed to sharing the letters I receive from the students in our program; maybe because they feel so personal. But today I was thinking about how often I try to explain to people that Education and Hope is about so much more than scholarships; how it’s about tenderness and compassion, and helping hearts in need of healing to recognize that they are worthy of love and belonging. The letters I’ve been getting this week really help to give shape to that idea in the words of the people whose lives are being instilled with hope.

Many times I’ve written about how complicated Mother’s Day is in our program as so many have lost their mothers. Today the spring newsletter was mailed out and the story was about Emilia, a recent graduate. Emilia and her brother Fernando were orphaned at a young age and the two have grown up taking care of each other. After Emilia’s graduation, Fernando came into my office said through tears: “You are like an angel who came to fill the void left by my mother’s absence.” This is the letter I received from Fernando this week in honor of Mother’s Day. The picture of me hugging Fernando at Emilia’s graduation sums up how I feel in response.

“Hola Julia, on such an important day I’m hoping that you are in good health and surrounded by your family. Today I give special thanks to you for accepting me into your Education and Hope family. Everything I am and everything I have achieved is thanks to your economic and moral support. Thank you, Julie, for teaching me to share my bread, to share my love and to share my dreams. Now I want to share my hugs with you across the distance. I love you very much. Thank you for being such a dear, beautiful mother of love, compassion and hope.” Atentamente, Fer

“Hola Julia,
La saludo en este día tan especial espero que se encuentre bien y con salud al lado de su familia. Yo especialmente le doy las gracias por aceptarme en su familia Educación y esperanza. Todo lo que soy y lo que tengo lo he logrado gracias a su apoyo económico y moral. Gracias Julia por enseñarme a compartir mi pan, a compartir mi amor, y a compartir mis sueños. Yo quiero ahora compartir mis abrazos, desde la distancia. Le mando un fuerte abrazo y muchos besos. La quiero mucho mucho mucho…. Gracias por ser la Linda madrecita de amor, compasión y de esperanza.” Atentamente, Fer