Our computer counter tells us we've been in Ecuador now for 517 days! However, we're celebrating our 1 year official, approved residency this week!! We thank our lucky stars each day we're here.
As we review the tasks checked off and done, as well as the tasks still left to do, we have been thinking of more 'give back' opportunities...
As we read the various blogs and websites, we have found many ways to 'give back' to our new Country we call *home*... Many groups are sponsored by churches, schools, government and the private sector. Individuals are right in there, too. There are volunteer and monetary opportunities year-round. Lots of ways to help the families. Just a little time or money can make such a huge, positive difference in the lives of others.
You all have seen it before. We're continually amazed at how far a small donation, or a few hours volunteering, goes toward the happiness and success of a child.
So -- here is our shamelessly early request for your 'charity' dollars...Here's the pitch....
As you are also thinking about how to spend your 'charity' dollars this Holiday Season (as well as throughout the year), we hope you consider joining us in contributing to one of our favorite children's events:
Our family at the Coast, Bob and Roxanne, sponsor a Christmas Holiday Party for the local children.
Here is their blog entry right after last year's event. Want to see lots of happy kids with Papa Noel? Guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Go here:
Christmas 2010 will be their 3rd party for the kids in their coastal community. Last year there were 125 kids and 75 moms, and a lot more are expected this year. Which means...more donations are needed so no child is turned away.
Bob and Rox are already hard at work planning for the Party. A donation of school supplies came in just recently for the children...take a look:
But lots to still do... donations will be used for the huge shopping trips coming up. Bob and Roxanne plan to start shopping for the gifts next month.
For last year's mega shopping spree in Cuenca, go to:
The 'getting ready and getting organized' pics from last year are here:
Animal crackers, candy, little wrapped gifts for the boys and girls. Most of these children have never received a wrapped gift. Last year, there were Pretties and dollies for the girls and toy cars and trucks for the boys. Stuffed animals and sports equipment and more. Bob and Rox also gave little 'token' gifts to the Mom's. And, this year there are school/learning gifts, too.
Many parents in their community struggle to just feed their families...and get the money together for school books and supplies. Thanks to the generous donation of school supplies this summer, it will be easier for some for the kids to stay in school and learn. But, we think there can never be too many school supplies...so, donations will help add even more to the gift collection.
Bob and Rox also provide lunch at the Christmas party. Some of the donations will go to the 'picnic budget'. Last year, each child and Mom enjoyed a hot dog and some of Rox's famous potato salad and something fun to drink. This menu is definitely a treat for the kids!
There is also a 'budget' for color photos of each child receiving his or her gift from Papa Noel. Where cameras are scarce, parents don't have the opportunity to take treasured pictures of their children. As we all know, as parents and grandparents, those pictures are priceless!
How to contribute? PayPal donations can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you don't have PayPal, contact them and they will send you an alternative method for contributing.
As it has often been said before, sometimes it takes a village...
Thanks for your consideration of this charity venue.