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Trinity Recognized for Service to COAR Peace Mission

Published on May 10, 2019

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Trinity was one of 20 local high schools and colleges presented with a St. Romero Solidarity Award back in March for their years of service to COAR Peace Mission, the Community of Oscar A. Romero in El Salvador.

Trinity partners with COAR Peace Mission to provide Spanish translation services for the organization's "sponsor a child" oureach program. Thank you to Spanish Instructor, Mrs. Vikki Broida (above, middle), and retired Spanish Department Chairperson, Ms. Terry Bindokas (above, right), on accepting this honor on behalf of Trinity. Ms. Bindokas, who retired from Trinity in 2016 after 46 years of service, formed the partnership between COAR Peace Mission and Trinity. Mrs. Broida, seeing the need for this kind of service, has kept the partnership active with students enrolled in Spanish 3.

The Cleveland-based COAR Peace Mission has been providing quality education, health care, spiritual richness and a safe and loving home for vulnerable children in El Salvador for nearly 40 years. Romero, the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated in 1980 for denouncing the violence in El Salvador's civil war. He was canonized last October by Pope Francis.

Founded in 1980 by a Cleveland priest, COAR Children's Village in Zaragoza, El Salvador provides foster care for 50-100 children, schooling for 1,000 children, as well as a clinic, pharmacy, and other services for the entire community.

Sponsors can provide tuition for one child for a year for a $180 contribution, and provide annual living costs for a child for $300. Sponsor levels begin at $15, and contributions of any amount are greatly appreciated. Sponsors receive a picture and letter from a child at COAR twice a year.

"Sponsorship is the essence of solidarity between vulnerable children in El Salvador and kind and caring people throughout North America and the world who wish to support them," explained Mary Stevenson, executive director of COAR Peace Mission. "It surrounds the children with a home, a family, health, education, love and safety. It puts a name and face and a relationship at the center of that generosity. This year, we honor the schools and the Spanish teachers that have built this bridge of solidarity between the COAR children and their sponsors."

The work behind the sponsorship program is daunting. It requires translating 1,000 letters a year from Spanish into English, and a few hundred more from English into Spanish. More than 14,000 students from over 20 high schools and colleges have translated approximately 17,000 letters since 2004. Each letter represents a child saved from poverty.

This year's honorees, listed by years of service, were: Padua Franciscan High School, Beaumont School, St. Edward High School, St. Ignatius High School, Strongsville High School, Hudson High School, Trinity High School, Gilmour Academy, Saint Joseph Academy, Brunswick High School, Baldwin Wallace University, Solon High School, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, Norton High School, Barberton High School, Archbishop Hoban High School, Magnificat High School, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin High School, University School and John Carroll University.

COAR Peace Mission provides full financial support for the COAR Children's Village and other projects committed to assisting Salvadoran children who are displaced or are victims of poverty, drugs, and gang violence.

"Generations of children have gone on from COAR to form stable, loving families," added Stevenson. "With the support of these schools and our sponsors and patrons we are able to continue the tradition exemplified by St. Romero."

For more information about COAR Peace Mission, visit www.coarpeacemission.org.