Honoring children at Okanogan UMC during a tumultuous year

Okanagan UMC day of the child
Volunteers handed out toys to children at Okanagan UMC on Sunday to celebrate children and honor the trauma they've been through in the last year.

So much of the focus of the church during the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to wildfires within Hispanic and Latinx communities has been on supporting the adults who are navigating a complex system to seek support.

But the focus of families has been on their children, and how best to explain to them that they can’t go to school, visit their friends or go to church. It has been a stressful and traumatic time for children in the best of situations, but many Hispanic/Latinx families have been living under stressful situations long before a pandemic and wildfires came along.

Thankfully though, Hispanic/Latinx leaders Artemio Zapoteco and Guadalupe Mosqueda at Okanogan United Methodist Church have not forgotten the children. On May 2,the celebrated world children’s day at their church and with the assistance of First United Methodist Church in Wenatchee, the church leaders distributed toys to 150 people, including 50 children.

“When I asked Artemio and Guadalupe: Why is this important for them? They responded because they want to ‘see the children and parents happy,’” said Rev. Cruz Edwin Santos, Hispanic/Latinx Ministries coordinator for the Greater Northwest Area. “They also wanted to demonstrate to (the children) that there is a church who cares and is with them all the time.”

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A mom, a writer, a wannabe runner, Kristen Caldwell calls Vancouver, Wash., home and loves getting to tell stories of the people and places that make up the Greater Northwest Area.


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