Lenten conversation focuses on work of two local social services groups on March 18

by Jeanne Cooper on March 15, 2012

In Silicon Valley, success stories in business and academia tend to dominate the local narrative. But what about those whose mistakes in judgment land them in jail, or those who through no fault of their own face linguistic and cultural hurdles to academic achievement?

Fortunately, two mid-Peninsula nonprofits have some success stories of their own. The Service League of San Mateo County, founded 50 years ago, provides a variety of programs to aid inmates of the county jail, former inmates, state parolees and their families, while Los Ayudantes, now in its 10th year, serves students from Spanish-speaking homes in the Redwood City School District.

Los Ayudantes co-founder and Stanford research librarian Ann Latta and board member Julie Backlund, who recently retired as Trinity School‘s chief financial officer, as well as Service League volunteer Jeanne Cooper, will discuss the challenges and joys of working with these often hidden populations as part of Being the Hands of Jesus: Lenten Conversations, an ongoing series of talks at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church.

The 45-minute discussions will take place at 9:15 am on Sunday, March 18, and at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, March 21, in Lehman Hall, to the right of St. Bede’s parking lot at 2650 Sand Hill Road (off Monte Rosa).  On Wednesday, a simple supper is offered at 6 p.m. ($5 donation requested.) For more information, or to reserve a meal, call the parish office at (650) 854-6555.

St. Bede’s will also be practicing compassionate action this weekend by raising funds for Nets for Life, an antimalarial campaign in Africa, with its semiannual rummage sale. The sale of books, CDs, DVDs, artwork, household objects, clothes, etc., is open from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm on Saturday, March 17, and also takes place in Lehman Hall. Remaining items will be available for purchase before the 9:15 discussion Sunday.

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