Las Posadas event honors life of Gloria Wiggins
Portland, OR — The celebration of “Las Posadas” is steeped in tradition and religion, but this year’s event held even more meaning for the staff at Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano. In addition to serving as an opportunity to celebrate Christmas and present toys and warm clothing to hundreds of low-income children, the gathering also gave the organization the chance to honor and say goodbye to Gloria Wiggins, division manager of El Programa Hispano, who passed away Dec. 1 at the age of 54 after a long battle with cancer.
“Gloria poured her heart into Las Posadas every year,” said Alison Dunfee, El Programa Hispano School Based Services Program Manager, in a press release. “She would do whatever it takes — even pick up bicycles in the ice and snow — to make sure this event is special for the children. We dedicate this year’s Posada to Gloria and honor her legacy of tireless commitment to the Latino community.”
In addition to her commitment to the Latino community, the Colombia native was also a founding member of the Coalition of Communities of Color, and volunteered with numerous community groups, such as the Rockwood Urban Renewal Committee, the Gresham Safety Blue Ribbon Task Force, and Multnomah County’s Fatality Review Committee. The Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Committee honored Wiggins with the Gladys McCoy Award for lifetime volunteer achievement in 2010. The Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce presented her its Latino Community Service Award in 2011.
Funeral services were held Dec. 7 at St. Henry’s Catholic Church. Wiggins is survived by her husband, Joseph; her sister; and her parents.
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