MANA – catholic association
Jodidos, pero contentos, says elderly group that helps other elderly
By Joe Olvera ©, 2011
“Jodidos, pero contentos (Broken-down, but, happy)” is the way Emma Molina, 84, describes the elderly people who belong to an organization that constitutes elders helping elders. “Not everyone is elderly, but, for the most part, many of us are well beyond what we call the Third Age, which means, elderly people.”
Called MANA – as in manna from heaven, the food from God that sustained the Israelites during their desert crossing to the promised land – this group of elders, from ages 45 5o 90, has been working for more than 10 years, but, only two years in the areas around Horizon City, mainly, in Agua Dulce, a colonia in the neighborhood.
“We are MANA Asociacion Catolica,” Molina said. “We work to provide food for the elderly and the extremely poor. Currently, we have about 200 families who receive our assistance, and for whom we provide such provisions as meat, milk, bread, clothing – and even presents for poor children during Christmas.
“However, we need help from the communities in which we work. We need help in the form of donations, because that’s how we operate, through donations and through holding fund-raisers, such as enchilada dinners and other activities. We are a very active group of some 25 active members, and 50-plus volunteers who help us to distribute the goodies which we provide for the poor families in the colonias.”
In addition to Molina – who is president of the group – officers consist of Ana Maria Gonzalez, secretary, and Pedro Gomez, who is the treasurer. Located at the Centro Juan Diego on Ascencion Street, near the Guadalupana Health Center, the group will be out in force Friday, March 11, 2011 at the Juan Diego Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“For 11 years, I used to help out the people in Juarez, but, I also realized that elderly and poor people in El Paso also need help,” Molina said. “The necessity is much greater in the Horizon area than most people realize. I wish we could do this every week, but, our resources are limited. We help as many as 200 families, but, there is more need than we are able to cover.”
Molina said that for more information about when and where the group meets, or if someone wants to make a donation, to call her at 778-2235, or to call her secretary, Ana Maria Gonzalez, at 252-5285. “The only requirement to receive help is to be low-income and to fill out an application once they arrive. Bring a telephone bill, or some other proof that you live in the area. We have many projects to benefit people, and, it’s all free. With God’s blessing, we will be able to continue helping the elderly and the poor as long as we are able.”