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In Memoriam: Prepares Volunteer Janie Ibarra-Vijarro

Janie Ibarra-Vijarro, a long-time PREPARES volunteer, recently passed away from COVID-19. Janie lived out her faith in ways that helped so many, from the PREPARES families she accompanied, to the man huddled outside of Wal-Mart for whom she bought gloves, to customers of the food bank in Toppenish where she served on the board.

Janie understood the struggles of people living in poverty out of her own experience, and she was present for anyone who needed her. She drove a young woman to prenatal appointments this year, she represented PREPARES in our most recent video, and she called families to make sure they had what they needed.

Janie was an associate of the Sisters of the Holy Names.

“As an associate, everything I do, I do as a ministry,” she said.

This included her work as a real estate agent. Janie specialized in finding homes for people who imagined they could never afford one. During the online rosary after her death, her husband, Nino, said, “Janie was always going. She always had someplace to go. ‘I’ve gotta take something to a family,’ she’d say, and off she’d go. ‘I’ve gotta help someone buy a house,’ and off she’d go. So, God called Janie,” Nino said, “and off she went.”

We miss her already.