Last updated: September 09. 2013 4:51AM - 70 Views

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Amigos de Cristo Iglesia Luterana (Friends of Christ Lutheran Church in English) has received a $10,000 community service award from ConAgra Foods in Marshall to help provide social services to Hispanics.

The non-profit organization provides services such as translation and interpretation of documents, and connects people seeking the church’s help to the appropriate entity if it cannot assist them.

“We provide a lot of help to the non-English speaking population in the area,” said Raquel Martinez, outreach coordinator for Amigos de Cristo. “We take them to doctor’s appointments, even talk to Legal Aid in Kansas City in regards to immigration or any other matter.”

Amigos de Cristo Iglesia Luterana has committed itself to helping the immigrant population, and ConAgra Foods in Marshall took notice, said Susan Zacarias, employee relations manager. Many of the Hispanic workers told Zacarias about services they have received from Amigos de Cristo, and she decided to let the non-profit know about the existence of the award.

Zacarias is in charge of nominating potential non-profit organizations for this grant, and this year she only nominated Amigos de Cristo Iglesia Luterana.

“They help our Hispanic community,” Zacarias said. “You want to give back to the people that give you something.”

ConAgra Foods gives the community service award twice a year in March and September. The only stipulation, Zacarias said, is that the organization uses the money for equipment and materials related to the services they provide.

Amigos de Cristo runs on a yearly budget of $54,820, and their church offerings average less than $1,000 per month, said Elvera Satterwhite, a church volunteer.

“We have a lot of different projects that we do. We do the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, and, of course, all of that needs funding,” said Raquel Martinez, outreach coordinator for Amigos de Cristo Iglesia Luterana. “Money is necessary to keep these types of institutions going. Susan told us about it, and Elvera started getting the paperwork together to start applying for the award.”

Satterwhite said offering help is crucial.

“God’s law rules, and He says to help those who are in need. He says to help those who are less fortunate than you,” Satterwhite said. “He even refers to helping aliens in The Bible. He said, ‘Be kind to the strangers in your land.’ And we believe that sincerely.”

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