Father John wanted to share this letter he received from Michael Dippy, Executive Director of IDignity:

As we join our nation in preparing to mark the birth of its independence, I ask that you take a moment to reflect on the life of a fellow citizen named Francisco.

Francisco suffers from a disability made worse when he lost his wallet years ago and ended up living on the streets of Orlando. Talking about it with an IDignity volunteer recently, the 62 year old New York City native said he could not get a job, housing or the medical care he needed.

He became choked with emotion recalling not only the fear and uncertainty of those times, but also the kindness of strangers and the tireless work of IDignity’s legal staff in trying to obtain his corrected birth certificate so that he could apply for his Florida ID card.

“I seen that they were trying, that’s why I kept on coming,” Francisco said. “I knew someday they were going to get it. But they said you have to keep on coming and everything. I figure if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have no ID. I’d still be out there on the streets.”

Francisco’s patience, and his faith in IDignity, paid off when he recently obtained the documents required to obtain his Florida ID card. Yet, ultimately, individuals like you are the reason Francisco is able to celebrate his independence today. The love and generosity of others is why Francisco was overcome with emotion when we captured the photo of him below, clutching his new Florida ID card, full of hope for the opportunities it will provide for him.

As you think about what it means to be a citizen, please ponder the many challenges our fellow citizens face when they are unable to obtain their legal identification documents. This was Francisco’s plight. Through the support of individuals like you, IDignity has been able to help Francisco and 16,000 other fellow citizens.

On average, it costs IDignity just $200 along with four hours of volunteer time to acquire all of the crucial legal identification documents that every American needs to participate in this great country.

With your support, IDignity can continue to help restore the independence of these Americas so that they can live their lives, enjoy their liberty and pursue happiness, just as the founders– and our creator– intended.

I hope that you have an enjoyable 4th of July, celebrating the independence we are all fortunate to share.