Parish roundup: Pen pal in Kenya inspires Colorado girl to fund water projects abroad

The supplies the team took with them included a haul of men’s belts to replace the ones confiscated at the border by federal enforcement agencies.

The unnamed project arose as “an ad hoc program” of San Francisco’s two Jesuit parishes — St. Agnes and St. Ignatius — to address needs “for help at Annunciation House and the desire of our parishioners to respond to the horrific, anti-Gospel policies of the U.S. government toward immigrants,” according to Jesuit Fr. Greg Bonfiglio, St. Ignatius’ pastor.

He lauded the leadership of St. Ignatius parishioner Lomont and St. Agnes parishioner Judy Reuter.

Lomont told NCR that a half-dozen volunteer teams are calendared for El Paso for the coming months and that she and Reuter are “looking into other border volunteer opportunities,” including sites in San Diego, California, McAllen, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona. For information, email ImmigrationSIP@gmail.com.

A 2013 school science project combined with thoughts of her pen pal Rose in Kenya led to then-10-year-old Jennifer Stuckenschneider launching Walk for Water, an effort that has since raised more than $16,000 to install water pumps and sanitary latrines in Kenya, Honduras, India and Uganda. A member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Grand Junction, Colorado, Jennifer has teamed with Unbound, an international non-profit founded on Catholic social justice principles. The annual Walk for Water fund-raising event ($10 to walk a mile with a gallon of water) is Sept. 14 at Colorado Mesa University’s plaza in Grand Junction. 

[Dan Morris-Young is NCR West Coast correspondent.]

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