“Jesus said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’“ (Luke 10:27).
The excitement of the Christmas Season is upon us! Many services and celebrations are being planned here at Federated Church, and for the Mission and Service Commission this means serious conversations and prayerful considerations have taken place regarding our long-standing tradition of the Christmas Eve Offering.
The Mission and Service Commission received many worthy applications for the 2018 offering and after thoughtful discussions the commission chose HOLA Ohio, a community organization based in Painesville. Its mission is to empower the community it serves through education, outreach, leadership development and more. Formed in 1999 as an informal group of Latinas wanting to help agricultural workers and their families, HOLA has become a pillar of the Ohio Latino and immigrant community and works with families across the state as a go-to resource.
This nonprofit offers an array of bilingual and culturally-competent programming to attend to the needs of the Latino population. HOLA has been providing many of these services to Latinos in northeast Ohio without a reliable location. HOLA currently operates out of a small, store-front church in Painesville on an as-needed basis. But this space is not always available and not large enough. Programs have been shuffled around to local libraries, other churches and public parks. The time has come to find a fixed location for HOLA to operate.
The efforts to create a home for the HOLA Ohio Community Center have begun as they work to generate the capital needed to complete this project. HOLA has a well thought out plan to raise these funds. Presently over 42% of these funds are committed.
Our 2018 Christmas Eve Offering will be dedicated to the Educational Area, an adaptable space with moveable walls which includes a classroom and a small meeting room. This area will be used for adult and youth programming, including English as a second language classes, citizenship tutoring, workforce and entrepreneurial trainings and voter education programs.
The HOLA Ohio Hispanic Community Center will anchor economic development and entrepreneurial services for Latinos in the area. HOLA will assist and empower thousands of immigrants as they stabilize their economic and civic standing and boost the overall economic vitality of the region. Ultimately, the target population will become a reliable pool of labor for agriculture, landscaping construction and other businesses which currently confront a lack of skilled and unskilled workers.
The Mission and Service Commission is committed to the developing partnership with HOLA. It began with hosting and supporting its annual raiser at the Family Life Center last June. Now we look forward to engaging with financial and volunteer support. The commission thanks you for your prayerful consideration of the 2018 Christmas Eve Offering and invites you to join in giving generously.