Rudy’s Angels at St. Paul’s UMC

Sandi McKinney, RN
Wesley Nurse, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
San Antonio, Texas

As an MHM Wesley nurse, I develop and lead programs designed to make lasting change in the lives of the people I serve at St. Paul United Methodist Church in San Antonio. I frequently create programs for parents and children to help improve their physical and mental health. Recently, I conducted a special class about fire safety.

I enjoy giving the children in my programs a takeaway when they complete the safety class, but I didn’t have any educational items to facilitate this particular class. As I spoke with my downstairs neighbor Carmen De Luna-Jones, the director of the Alamo Colleges GED program, about this dilemma, an interesting thing happened – fate stepped in. Carmen had a friend, Jody Orozco, who founded, Rudy’s Angels, an organization in memory of Rudy Alejos, a six-year old boy who died in a 2011 San Antonio apartment fire. Jody was looking for a group of children that could benefit from the hope and love of Rudy’s Angels. The Holy Spirit has a way of making these connections, especially when we least expect them.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 5.09.43 PM

With the generous support of Rudy’s Angels, 60 children were surprised to receive bike safety helmets after completing the safety program. The generosity didn’t end there. A survey of the group was done to determine which children owned a bike of their own. Then, Rudy’s Angels blessed the children again by purchasing 23 bicycles for those in need. The bicycle giveaway occurred at St. Paul’s and was attended by Jody Orozco, Carmen De Luna-Jones and MHM Community Health Worker, Rosa Ovalle. The team was thrilled to see the joy of the children; a mission accomplished.

“Miss, miss, I’ve never had a bicycle,” one girl excitedly told me as she received her new bike. I recall another five-year old boy was overwhelmed with tears upon receipt of a brand new bicycle. The bicycle giveaway was one of the best things that I’ve been a part of here at MHM. We are blessed to teach, reach and embrace so many wonderful people. The children and adults were humbled by the gifts, left in memory of a small boy named Rudy.

About Rudy’s Angels:

The memory of six-year old Rudy Alejos lives on through Rudy’s Angels, an organization designed to honor the child who died in a 2011 San Antonio apartment fire that displaced more than 70 residents. The group brings hope and love to other local children through donations and special events.