DIOCESE OF LONDON: Heart-Links is a non-profit charitable development organization run only by volunteers that funds and operates a variety of programs in Peru in the fields of education, nutrition and literacy, as well as organizes annual work-awareness trips to Peru. In Canada, it engages in public education, through presentations, a newsletter and web-site, and fund-raising activities.

Our mission is to link Peruvians and Canadians through friendship and support for mutual growth and enrichment.

In 1962 at the invitation of Peruvian bishops, many Canadianpriests and religious communities responded to the call to come and work among the people of northern Peru and share their struggles. The Sisters of St. Joseph of London , Ontario lived and worked in the Zana Valley, sharing their faith and walking with the people to try and improve their standard of living. In 1994 as one of the last Sisters to leave Peru, S. Janet Zadorsky csj founded Heart-Links. In 2003 Heart-Links gained its independent charitable status and is now an ecumenical non-government agency continuing in the spirit and values of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Gaining our independent status resulted from the work of many dedicated volunteers who shared with us their talents and skills. The Diocese of London has provided much support and hosts our web-site at no cost and with Breakfast Program – Zana School the guidance of Joseph Edward, has helped us set up our information systems. Costs saved allow us to send much needed funds to our projects in Peru.

We are fortunate to have many loyal donors. We are particularly grateful for the support received from the Board of Trustees of DISC, who for two consecutive years have deemed our work, worthy of a grant. We especially thank Joseph Edward for bringing our name forward.

We continue to carry on and expand the work started by the Sisters, working slowly to- wards self-sustainability. We are looking to new initiatives realizing that education is key- education and training of our women leaders in the community kitchens, strengthening their self-esteem and learning about their human rights; a new scholarship program to en- courage students to go to college. We continue to fund our integrated school for children who have learning disabilities or whose parents are too poor to send them to regular school. We help fund the Rural Library Network in Cajamarca province where 25% of people are unable to read or write.

Our Peruvian friends have a saying , “Create the path by walk ing.” We are privileged to walk with them and try to help even in a small way, for their struggles are large. We are inspired their courage, and their strong faith. Being in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Peru, we receive much more Web site: www.heart-links.org than we give.

DIOCESE OF ERIE: On behalf of Mission of Friendship in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I thank you for your grant of $668.00. The money will be used for the Nueva Vida (New Life) Girls’ Shelter.

This shelter really is a chance at a “new life” for the residents. Girls who come from difficult home situations are given a safe, loving environment in which to grow and learn. The girls and the staff truly become family for each other. Your generosity will help Mission of Friendship to continue to offer a better life for these deserving girls.

Thank you for your efforts to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

DIOCESE OF ST PETERSBURG CATHOLIC CHARITIES: I would like to thank your wonderful organization for your kind award to Catholic Charities’ San Jose Mission. The San Jose Mission is a labor of love by our diocesan family spanning over the period of a decade that provides care and support for the many farm worker families who work the fields for all of us. The Mission provides a comprehensive health, education, childcare and social service campus with 112 units of affordable housing for low-income families and is considered a national model by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Catholic Health Association.

This award by the Diocesan Information Systems Conference will help support the continuation of this ministry and its effort to improve the lives of the farm workers. Through your award and your prayers, you join us in this quest to bring justice and the love of Jesus into the lives of those who often feel exploited and abused.