Who knew……

IMG_1874So, this little girl’s mom wanted to tell me a story. Lupita attends one of our schools in Mexico and was so touched by our visit last year she couldn’t wait for us to come back.

Our charity, Hope For Mexico, was just touring our schools last week unveiling the new rooftop patio covers we installed to help shade the kindergarten kids from the burning Mexico sun.

Last year, when we toured the four schools and delivered private school quality school supplies, we had fabric bracelets made that had Hope For Mexico embroidered on them and we tied them on all the kids wrists.

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Well, according to Lupita’s mother this bracelet was her favourite thing in the world and she refused to take it off. Her mother said, it got dirty from her playing outside but she insisted her mother wash it – but not take it off. So her mother scrubbed the bracelet clean while still wrapped around her daughter’s little wrist.

We were there in February of last year….and in late summer Lupita broke her arm. She came running to her mother and her only concern was the bracelet. She didn’t want to have to take off the bracelet we gave her. She pushed and pushed the bracelet as far up her arm as possible so the doctors would not take it off…but in the end the doctor had to cut if off. Lupita’s mother said the little girl cried for days and days. Not because of her broken arm, Lupita told her mother “that will heal”, she said, “but the bracelet of hope is gone.”

Whoa, who knew such a small thing would delicately lay across a little girls wrist and bring such hope and inspiration. I wonder what she thought about when she looked at that bracelet after we left. Maybe, just maybe it opened her little mind to the possibilities of what this big ole’ world could offer.

I know what you’re thinking….a great ending to this story would be that we pulled out a brand new clean bracelet for Lupita and the biggest smile crept across her face? Nope…..Cesar and I didn’t bring any fresh bracelets because we figured we already did that…no need to do it again.

How wrong were we?…..guess we’ll just have to book another trip to Mexico and hand deliver some much loved and cherished Hope For Mexico bracelets. Couldn’t have planned it any better myself.

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Clap your hands if you think that happiness is the….

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I think we often forget what happiness truly feels like. It’s easy to get lost or caught up in our day to day activities and lives and not really stop and feel the moment you feel something real and raw. But as I was driving away from the fourth and final school in Mexico the other day, I had a familiar euphoric feeling that I recognized as pure happiness. It was a warm and comforting feeling deep in my bones (and not just because I was in Mexico where it was sunny and warm) but a “real” feeling of joy in it’s purest form. I’ve missed that feeling lately, whether I’ve let it breeze by unnoticed or it’s been a while since I felt it; I don’t know, but man, it’s addictive and I want more.

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Hope For Mexico toured the four schools we committed our help to this week and I can tell you I felt the communities gratitude, I felt that they appreciated us for following through and doing something for them that they least expected. That’s a very big gift for me to share with all of you, those who helped us get there and helped us build those shelters and helped us get running water for the kids to wash their hands and washrooms that work for them to use. It was humbling to see and feel the relief on the mothers faces. We heard stories that since the patio covers have been installed a number of kids who suffered from painful skin conditions due to constant sun light have healed and disappeared. We heard that kids no longer are getting sick and passing out because they are 33 kindergarten kids in a cramped hot 10×10 school room. We heard that communities come to enjoy the shelter from the sun and families can eat outside and socialize together as friends and neighbours. Our generosity has brought people together and by doing that I believe it brings them hope. The very foundation of what we were built on…Hope For Mexico.

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It’s possible to make a difference, little by little, big or small. It is possible that one kind gesture can change the direction of a community and lives that live in it.

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Stay tuned, I will be posting some great stories and photos over the next few days. Some of the stories are sure to inspire and hopefully inspire you all enough to help kick off phase two of our fundraising efforts.

Finally done and heading “home”

It’s official, the rooftop covers for all four schools in Mexico are done. The kids are over the moon happy and can play and learn and eat outside their 10 x 10 school rooms.IMG_0126

Last year our charity Hope For Mexico visited all four remote areas in northern Mexico to see for ourselves what these kids really needed most. We held a fundraiser, raised 15 thousand dollars and then got to work on making four schools a better place for these kindie kids to learn. With the money raised by all our friends and family here in Canada and Mexico we bought bags of “private school” quality school supplies, musical instruments and learning tools and delivered them personally last February.IMG_0459

On the spot, working with the DIF, the government body that oversees the schools in Mexico, we realized these kids need shelter from the sun. They couldn’t play outside, or eat outside or learn outside because these playgrounds had no shelter from the blazing Mexican sun. Some of the kids were passing out and getting sick because they couldn’t find a reprieve.
We knew this is where our money needed to go. It took a lot longer than I had hoped – for reasons out of my control and nothing to do with the Mexican side of things, but here we are. Finally Done!!

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I will be travelling to Mexico in the next few weeks to tour each school and “officially” unveil the rooftop covers. Once again we will be accompanied by the Mayor of Dolores Hidalgo and the members of the DIF in that city as well. Both have been huge supporters of ours and we can’t thank them enough.

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I would also like to thank a few people back here at home, who have weighed down my suitcase with supplies and support. My daughter’s dentist office, surprisingly handed me a big box of school supplies one day after they found out what our family is up to in Mexico. Thank you Danforth Children’s Dentistry. Also our friends Shelagh Meek and Stella Reed who so kindly bought school supplies for me to take back and Sue and Mike Stevens with another box of supplies and endless ideas for our fundraising efforts to continue. HFM’s new fundraising “idea” is actually Sue’s idea. Stay tuned, it’s going to be an interesting one. I know I’m missing people…so thank you to you too. And last, but certainly not least, thank you to Cesar, my brother from another mother who is on the ground in Mexico and takes care of all the details and ensures Hope For Mexico is moving along and takes care of me and my family when we are in our beloved Mexico. See you soon mi hermano!!

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