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Annapolis Hope

EWE Spirit Grant Recipient Story:

On the morning of June 11, 2023, Annapolitan Nick Mireles was singing and dancing with his daughters while cleaning the living room carpet. Just a few hours later, he took his family to a birthday party that turned heartbreakingly fatal. In what was later to be tried as a hate crime, a gunman killed Nick, his son Mario Mireles-Ruiz, and their friend Christian Segovia over an apparent parking dispute.

 

In the immediate aftermath of this horrifying crime, members of the Mireles’ parish, St. Mary’s, visited Nick’s wife, Sandra, to offer comfort and support and to guide her through some of the more practical challenges that might be especially hard to face during this moment of grief, such as covering the rent.

 

Susy Cruz, the director of families for Our Lady of Guadalupe Ministry at St. Mary’s, remembered Sandra’s devastation. “She was in shock,” she said. “She felt really lost and didn’t know what to do.”


Sandra was a full-time mother. While she was raising their eight children, ranging in age from one to sixteen, Nick, a hardworking landscaper, had been the family’s sole provider. She had no resources or ability to continue paying the rent.

 

Losing the house would have impacted the family in countless ways. During this traumatic moment in their young lives, the children would have lost the support of their caring neighbors, been forced to change schools, and possibly even been separated from one another and from their loving mother. Healing would have been even harder for them, Susy said, “because all their good memories are in this house.” Everyone who knew Nick recognized what a good father he was, she added. “The kids were always waiting in the window for him to come home.”

 

Fortunately, before his death, Nick had had the foresight to negotiate a rent-to-buy contract with his landlord. The landlord kindly agreed to modify the contract, giving Sandra’s supporters a year to raise the total $247,000 to buy the house. (He’d discounted the remaining payments by $10,000). Susy and other concerned locals subsequently formed a fund, called Annapolis Hope, to be operated under the umbrella of Marshall Hope, a local nonprofit that provides food, essential supplies, and learning support to families and students in need.


With four months left before the deadline, Annapolis Hope had raised more than half of the funds the Mireles family needed to buy their home, thanks to the efforts of many individuals, organizations, and businesses (including the Always Ice Cream Company, which donated 20% of one day’s sales from its local shops). The EWE Spirit Foundation was proud to contribute to this cause, as well, and we hope the community will continue to rally around this family.

 

As Susy said, “We want to show these kids that not everybody has the heart to harm others, that not everything is dark. We want to show them the kindness of others by helping little by little. That’s how we will change the world.”



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