The Ruiz's Wishbook Story
Clarksville mom Yojana Ruiz is busy, working seven days a week, raising three kids and navigating Southern Indiana as a Spanish-speaker.
She and her children, Yosari Torres Ruiz, Michael Ruiz and Yeimy Guillén Gamez, are part of the Healthy Families program at New Hope Services Inc.
They’re being featured as one of the News and Tribune’s Wish Book families in the hope that readers see their story and help them have a Merry Christmas through donations. Ruiz spoke to the News and Tribune through New Hope Services staffer Lisa Camacho, who is fluent in Spanish.
“I’m here in Clarksville for five years. I have a really long history,” Ruiz said. “When we were in Honduras, we came here because they don’t really let us work over there, so we came over here. You get to have a better life for your children here. There’s not so much danger.”
Ruiz and her eldest daughter, Yosari, came to America from Honduras. The pair stopped in Texas before making it to Southern Indiana. Her youngest children were born in the area.
“If you know somebody who’s low income, we need everything,” she said. “And, it’s going to depend on the goodwill of others, from what they want to give. More than anything, I need some help with Yosari’s teeth, probably an orthodontist to help with her teeth.”
Yosari, 13, could also use help getting glasses because the family does not have access to health care for her.
The family would also benefit from donations of king-sized bedsheets, a chest of drawers and pillows for sleeping. Pots, pans, living room chairs, furniture, towels and scented plug-ins are also needed.
The children would also enjoy books and Yosari could use a laptop to do school work.
“It’d be nice to have a really nice Bible in Spanish, or a nice Protestant hymnal in Spanish, with the Spanish songs in it,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz said the Healthy Families program is very helpful for her family as it provides advice for her, diapers and sometimes offers a food pantry. Having advocates in the area that can speak Spanish and interpret is important too.
“We Hispanic people, we go through a process to be here....we come here to fight for our families, because we flee from violence,” she said. “More than anything, it’s the poverty. If it wasn’t for the poverty, we’d stay there.”
Ruiz’s family is also looking for new housing and hoping to move from an apartment to a home they can rent.
New Hope staffer Lisa Camacho said it’s important for Spanish-speaking families in Southern Indiana to have access to what they need, especially since many of them work long hours.
“I think when you’re working your butt off to support your family, especially a lot of people that I’ve heard this time and time again, a lot of Hispanic families feel like (they are forgotten,)” she said. “And when someone does actually welcome you and says here, ‘nothing’s going to happen to you,’ we just want to give you this because we care about you, it means a lot to people.”
For Ruiz, she knows her faith and her family will get her through whatever she’s facing.
“God never stopped giving me a hand, so I never lost faith,” Ruiz said. “All through all of that, God never stopped giving me a hand.”