SMUM Thanks Volunteers

For over 25 years, Santa Maria Urban Ministry or SMUM has been a safe place of welcome, service and positive transformation. SMUM is at 778 South Almaden in San Jose, CA. SMUM works with Second Harvest Food Bank to distribute food to the hungry, offers educational program that include ABC Playtime for little kids and the Studio homework and computer club for grade school children, and (of particular interest at this time of year) the VITA income tax preparation service in many languages.

The small SMUM building is very well used: the VITA and Studio programs use the same well-managed computer lab at different times of day. Although SMUM is the official charity of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real, its free community services are supported mostly by grants and donations by the Friends of Santa Maria.

On 27 February, SMUM held its annual volunteer appreciation lunch at Trinity Cathedral in downtown San Jose. Constructed in 1863, Trinity is the oldest church building in San Jose.

Dozens of volunteers, from the middle and high school tutors for Studio to the retirees who staff the welcome desk, gathered to eat tamales, fried rice, fruit salad and Tres Leches Cake.  Many of the volunteers arrived at the lunch directly after working the morning food warehouse shift.

Everyone was given a green t-shirt and a Certificate of Appreciation.  There was much applause for Rev. Lawrence Robles (SMUM’s Executive Director) and his wife Carmen (who manages the warehouse).

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Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson

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