Each December, Ernie Serrano Jr., his family and the rest of the Serrano family and friends collect non-perishable food items, blankets, clothing, toys, gift cards and money. The gifts are earmarked for the many families of the St. Peter Indian Mission on the Gila Indian Reservation, south of Chandler, where Ernie’s daughter teaches. This year it was even more important than ever to lend a hand.

COVID HITS COMMUNITY HARD

The Sisters at St. Peter Indian Mission run a school for pre-K through 8th grade with about 200 students. Many of the kids are from broken families, some being raised by grandparents and other relatives because their parents are incarcerated. Sadly with COVID, the Sisters say it has been especially challenging for the kids and these families as many have lost their jobs, and there has been an increase in crime and violence in the community. 

ABOUT THE ST. PETER INDIAN MISSION SCHOOL

Founded in 1923 on the Gila River Indian Reservation, St. Peter Indian Mission School provides education and support for local children and their families. Since 1935, the school and parish have been overseen by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. All involved are committed to the mission’s continued success. Located in Bapchule Village, the birthplace of Iwo Jima flag raiser and Marine hero Ira Hayes, the mission gratefully accepts contributions of any kind. Visit the website to learn more.

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