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Teri Kavanagh to Liaise with Nonprofit Organizations

By Jesús Aguado

The Nonprofit Organizations Liaison Department will now attend to the foreign community as well as maintainthe 24/7 hotline.

Teri Kavanagh has lived in San Miguel the last 14 years. She came here on vacation with her husband, and three days later they decided to buy a house and stay. She directs her own nonprofit organization that supports vulnerable families, and since she arrived in San Miguel she has wanted to volunteer and work for those most in need.

With Feed The Hungry, she volunteered to deliver food to the community kitchens. Then she wanted to know more in order to understand what was functioning and what the problems were with the cooks, the moms, and the children that FTH helps. “I have always been so nosy,” she said, and laughed. Later she was invited by Howard Gleason to occupy the vice-presidency of the foundation. Although she accepted, she made it clear that she loves working and volunteering, but with a lot of field work. “I do not like staying in the office making decisions, because to make them, you have to know the problems,” she commented.

Once Kavanagh decided to get involved in politics, she left FTH. The new director of the Nonprofit Organizations Liaison Department is more than a politician. She says that she is philanthropic. Nevertheless, she knows that being involved in the system gives her more tools for helping more people, the people who have less, and give more. “Politics opens a million doors for supporting people,” she remarked.

When people ask her why she helps people, the answer is always, “If you see what I have seen and if you know San Miguel, you will realize that it is not only the historic center. If you realize that San Miguel is bigger, you can understand. I’ve seen too many people who do not even have running water in their homes. It is 2015, and there are students who do not have access to Internet or do not go to school because there are no buses, and that has to change through the government and the nonprofit organizations,” said Kavanagh.

The new director commented that the organizations that will receive more help will be the smallest, because the bigger ones have the “know how” to get public resources. She also said that now that there is a world crisis and there are no “big checks” from the private sector, the state and federal government have to give more.

In the months to come, Nonprofit Organizations Liaison Department will operate from the old city hall building and will offer legal attention to expats. That orientation will go from how to pay taxes or buy a house to how to fill out a criminal complaint at the Ministerio Público. There will be bilingual attention as well as the 24/7 hotline. The lawyer is Eduardo Sautto.

“Our work will be very overwhelming, and we will need the support of Sanmiguelenses. We will try our best, and the condition in which we find our offices does not matter. The citizens have to support us,” she concluded.


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