Following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, many felt the need to volunteer and help out the less fortunate in their communities through community service.
To mark the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, Sacred Heart Community Service of San Jose gathered over 200 volunteers to make important health and safety repairs to seven homes in the Western Trailer Park.
The trailer park, in the heart of Silicon Valley, is home to 90 families who live under roofs that leak, with windows and doors that can’t be locked against the weather and potential crime, plumbing that doesn’t work and creaky and dangerous porches and steps. The repairs to the homes were done on Friday, September 7th and on Saturday September 8th.
“We wanted to embrace the feeling of community that many of us felt following the 9/11 attacks,” said Poncho Guevara, Executive Director at Sacred Heart Community Center. “It is important that we do not forget how we felt that day, because we will then forget about those who are suffering in our communities.”
The volunteers who were making repairs to the Western Trailer homes were from all types of backgrounds. Some were from churches; others were architects, welders and students.
“It’s great to see community members of all backgrounds come together and help out in any way that they can,” Guevara said. “They have been here these past two days working hard and helping.”
The volunteers helped by painting houses, repairing holes in roofs and walls, and by removing rotting items.
“The people living in these homes deserve something close to acceptable living conditions,” Guevara said. “It is how most of us live in Silicon Valley and their living conditions should be no different.”
This particular event is an annual event, but this type of community work is something Sacred Heart does all the time.
“We offer a variety of services for families and individuals who want to improve their lives,” Guevara said. “We have education programs, financial programs, housing programs, etc.”
Louise Benson founded Sacred Heart in 1964 to feed hungry families in her neighborhood.
Today, providing essential services to individuals and families in need remains one of Sacred Heart’s core strategies. The organization has also evolved into a respected and innovative provider of programs that assist families with achieving lifelong economic self-sufficiency.
For more information on Sacred Heart and their programs visit www.sacredheartcs.org