The following words of thanks were shared by Oscar Cardozo during the inauguration of the new program centers of the Neighborhood Outreach Connection (NOC) at The Oaks Apartments in Hilton Head Island, SC, October 27, 2012. [Translated from the original Spanish.]
Good afternoon and welcome to our neighborhood, The Oaks. I want to thank all residents, community representatives, managers, and friends who are with us on this very important day for NOC. It is a day when we are harvesting the fruits of a long task and we are proud and happy to celebrate here today.
First of all I want to thank Dr. Sharma for his will and vision to make this happen and to help our children, our families, and our Hispanic community. And I also want to thank his wife, Martha, for her unconditional support of all these projects that are opening new horizons for the education of children, youths, and families in the community.
Dr. Sharma has had a vision through the NOC project to bring development and prosperity to our neighborhood through education, which is needed to overcome the barriers of borders and social differences, poverty, indifference, and discrimination. These barriers only encourage ignorance, backwardness, and separation that prevent human and community development. In order to realize this dream, NOC started more than five years ago to transform our neighborhood from a place that suffered from neglect, marginalization, and so many problems into a clean, healthy, and dignified place to live, a place where people have recovered confidence in themselves and in others. The NOC project has demonstrated to people that when the community works together in an organized way, it can achieve great things and big changes can occur that benefit each and every one. Those of us at The Oaks today proudly see that the neighborhood has a new face and we see that children, youths, and families who live here are enjoying an organized place where the general community receives education and care that are bridges to get people out of backwardness and darkness. These achievements have brought us dignity and hope for a better future. Thank you, Dr. Sharma, for believing in this project and for believing in us.
Again I can only say that we offer a million thanks to each one of the anonymous angels who have generously made donations of money, materials, and labor to make this project a reality. And to all those volunteers who believed in this work, who on their own initiative, tired and exhausted after long work days, have spent time in the evenings and weekends to come and work for the completion and beautification of these apartments, which today are classrooms where our children and young people receive the support and motivation to move forward with their homework and where they prepare for a productive life and service to others – thank you. We also want to thank each volunteer tutor who devotes talents, energy, and time every afternoon in the week to help with this project. A thousand and a thousand thanks! I have only words of thanks to each of you. May God bless you and God bless this great country.