If you really believe that kindness is contagious, even when you least expect it – than you won’t be surprised by the message of this post. When our charity Hope For Mexico was touring and delivering much needed school supplies to our four schools in Dolores Hidalgo we had no idea that others were taking note.
We decided in early January that we would hold off on building anything in the four schools we have committed to, simply for the fact that we wanted to tour each one and see for ourselves what they need and really get a feel for the schools, the kids and the communities. After we handed over all the supplies, we toured the classrooms and went over the teacher requests for their school needs. I was shocked that bathrooms, flushing toilets and running water to wash hands were on each list, but not even close to being number one. First and foremost each school needs a patio roof or shelter from the sun. Believe me, we could barely stand it out on their paved playgrounds for more than 20 minutes, these little guys have no where to play, eat or learn outside because none of the schools have proper shelter from the sun.
Now, let me back up a bit…..these particular schools are not funded by the federal government because they do not have enough students in each to meet the requirements for funding. So they are left to fend for themselves and rely on the DIF (family services) to help provide basic funding. But the DIF provides help to so many areas in Mexico like medical, dental, retirement and assistance for the aging, domestic violence and shelter for those in need and of course impoverished schools to name a few. So funding is spread thin and the schools suffer for sure.
But while touring the school and talking with the teacher at our first school of the day, we couldn’t stand the thought of these kids not having running water to wash their hands and a toilet that flushes. I asked how much to fix that…..her answer?? About $100.00. Just before I could say we’ll take care of that…..the DIF employee piped up and said if you provide the patio roof, we’ll take care of the toilets and running water. I held out my hand and said, “You’ve got yourself a deal!”
And to my surprise…. that’s how the day went, HFM and Senor Alejandri went side by side and made deal after deal. We committed to building patio roofs on all four schools and the DIF committed to other needs that seem so basic to us, but a complete luxury to these teachers and students. If HFM wasn’t there that day, the DIF likely wouldn’t have been there to really see what a fantastic job these young teachers were doing with basically nothing to work with.