By Christine Young
SALT LAKE CITY — The Our Lady of Lourdes Chapter of the Ladies of Charity of the Diocese of Salt Lake City received $900 from the National Ladies of Charity’s Hager Grant to buy new shoes for 80 children in need this year for Christmas.
The National Ladies of Charity received a donation from Kathleen Hager, who knew of the Ladies of Charity through her cousin. Hager never married and had no children; she worked hard to take care of her mother and left her money to the LCUSA. Her father died when she was eight weeks old and her mother had to take in boarders to provide food and shelter for her four siblings, two of whom later died before age 10.
The Our Lady of Lourdes Ladies of Charity were “thrilled to receive the money and we more than matched the grant so we could give 80 children a $30 voucher to PayLess Shoes,” said Jackie Harover, president. “Our winters in Utah are cold and we wanted the children to have warm shoes or boots for school.”
The children who received the shoe vouchers are in kindergarten through 12th grade and are from the families the Ladies of Charity deliver supplemental food boxes to each month.
Korina, her husband, Francisco, and their daughters Kassandra and Paola are among the recipients of the shoe vouchers. “It was fun picking out shoes,” said Kassandra, 10, who was able to purchase two pairs of shoes with her voucher. “I got black and white, polka-dotted, Mini Mouse boots and a pair of school shoes.”
Both girls really like Disney characters, said Korina. Paola picked out a pair of blue and pink boots with Frozen characters on them. “My boots are comfortable and warm and fun,” said Paola, 6. The girls “really love their new shoes and will wear them for school and everywhere,” Korina said. The gift of the shoes is one early present for the family; they are hoping that President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration will provide another. Korina moved to Utah from California with her family when she was 10 years old. The couple married when she was 18 and Francisco was 19. Korina works in customer service, but Francisco was laid off over a year ago after working for a company for 10 years. He was born in Mexico, and came to Utah when he was 17. The family is in the process of trying to get Francisco’s residency, but they may have just received some good news with President Obama’s recent speech on deportation relief for immigrants. “Nearly 5 million immigrants are eligible to be spared from deportation,” according to nbcnews.com. “The measures would apply to parents of U.S. citizens or of legal permanent residents. The parents would have to have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. Obama also expanded a program designed to extend deportation protections to immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally as children.” The family is now hoping Francisco won’t have to go to Mexico, because if he does, it is unknown how long he will have to stay, said Korina. “I know going through all of this is for the better.”