The Gift of Giving

Dear friends,

Sara* is a 68-year-old Sudanese woman who immigrated to the U.S. ten years ago with her adult daughter. To put food on their table, Sara works in a local hotel as a dishwasher.

Because Sara can’t read or write, her daughter, Marie, has always handled her documentation, bank account, taxes, etc.

Two months ago, Marie barely survived a horrific car accident, which completely immobilized her, and she is now institutionalized. And just a few weeks ago, Sara, her mother, slipped and fell, which caused her to miss two weeks of work and get even further behind in her expenses—and creating a morass of medical debt.

Sara reached out to Holy Cross Ministries and met with our on-staff Medical Debt Legal Advocate, Carmen Cardenas. (Our Medical Debt Legal Advocacy—MDLA—program is the first of its kind in the entire country.) Carmen immediately assessed Sara’s situation and made sure she also talked to a member of the Holy Cross Ministries immigration legal staff to renew Sara’s expired residency card.

MDLA is assisting Sara to continue with her Medicaid and get her Medicare approved before she starts accumulating additional medical debt. Carmen is currently advocating on behalf of Sara with state, federal and local agencies as well as scheduling appointments and helping Sara navigate the complex health system.

Your financial support will allow us to continue to help Sara and so many others like her. We will make use of your gift to fund MDLA and our other health outreach programs, along with early childhood education, mental health counseling and immigration legal services.

With the influx of refugees and asylum seekers over the last year, we need your financial help now more than ever.


With humble gratitude,


*At Holy Cross Ministries we respect everyone who comes to us for help. While this story is true, the names and images have been changed to protect our clients’ privacy. Thank you for understanding.

HCM's Medical Debt Legal Advocates

HCM’s Community Health Worker has been trained to serve as a bilingual Medical Debt Legal Advocate (MDLA), allowing her to identify medical debt issues and advise clients on how to resolve them by providing limited-scope legal advice, in an effort to increase the services we already provide. This training has been approved by the Utah State Court Office of Legal Innovation.