Keep on, keepin on….

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There’s always more that could have been done, more items that could have been gotten, more push for people to get involved, but in the end if you did the best you could, how can you go wrong.

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I am super proud of what we accomplished at Hope For Mexico’s first fundraising event. Over 15 thousand dollars raised. I am so thankful to those who came out and gave your support. I must admit, I was hoping for more of the Mexican community’s support. Those that came, I had no doubt you would show – so thank you. Today, I am making a plea to the Mexican community I adore so much. How can we continue to grow together? What can we do as a united group to make a difference in your country? Let’s do this together. I need your help.

I still need donations as we have been invited to The Rotary Club in Guanajuato City’s meeting. They would like to make a proposal to us on schools that we can help in the city I love so dearly and that Cesar lives in and calls home. Please, make a donation; big or small and help us change the lives of Mexican children. I can feel the movement happening, I will show you how we can make a difference. But it starts here, with those who have chosen to be a part of Hope For Mexico.

So please, click on the donations tab and give what you can.

I will travel to Mexico in early January and get the budgets and permits for the 4 schools that we have committed to help rebuild. I will also listen to what others need and can use our help with. We will explore getting flu shots to children in remote areas, doctors and dentists. We have many ideas that Hope For Mexico is working on and we need your continued support.

We are planning on being in Mexico in early 2014 to rebuild the 4 kindergarten schools we so successfully raised the money for on November 21. Thank you to all of those who made that possible. It was more than I ever imagined.

Hope for Mexico takes donations from far and wide too…so don’t be shy if you live elsewhere in the world. And pass on our donations page to someone you know who might be interested in making a difference. Thank you.

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“Over” joyed!!

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Wow, what a night. Hope For Mexico’s kick off fundraising event was a super success. Our goal was to raise $10,000 last night and I am “over” joyed to announced that we raised “over” our goal….$15,000 and donations are still coming in this morning. This will allow us to complete phase one and set ourselves up for phase two.

Thank you. Thank you to all my friends (family) in Mexico. Your support and presence was felt last night and your donations were a huge part in helping us reach our goal. We are so looking forward to arriving in Mexico and having you all be there on the ground in Mexico with us to see our hard work come to fruition.

Thank you to my friends and family here in Canada. Your help, your support, your donations, your presence were what made this magical night happen. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to watch my daughter witness our family’s dream come true. It will no doubt forever mark her heart and teach her that when you believe in something and you set a goal….you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Now I get the pleasure of bringing her with us to Mexico as we help rebuild the 4 kindergarten schools that are anxiously awaiting our arrival. What a life lesson for such a little soul. Thank you.

Thank you to Cesar and Lucas, who have given us their unwavering support over the years. Having Cesar here to share this event was the icing on the cake. Next time, Lucas must come too!!

Now….clean up, catch up on sleep (oh but have some more fun with Cesar first) and then start to plan the rebuilding.

Thank you once again….for all your support.

 

16 Days and counting…..

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It’s going to be a mad dash to the finish line, but we won’t stop until the hour our event begins. We have collected some great auction and give away items for Hope For Mexico’s kick off fundraising event. We’ve got Raptors tickets, concert tickets, ipads, Apple TV, satellite radio system, cash cards, gift cards to Holt Renfrew, photography session, executive coaching session, hair salon and restaurant gift certificates. There will be raffle baskets and more! Join us, November 21st at Stone Soup Innovation Lab, 49 Fraser Avenue in Toronto’s Liberty Village. From 6-11PM, there will be live music, food and drinks.

Any maybe you can even get some holiday shopping done. Admission is free so join us for an evening of giving. All proceeds will go to help 4 kindergarten schools in a rural village in Mexico’s Guanajuato state.

Feel free to click on the donate button and give now. Our goal is to be half way to our fundraising goal of $10,000 before the event begins. Help us get there.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~Winston Churchill

 

A whole lotta’ laughin’…..

There’s gunna be a whole lotta laughin’ going on in November as my Mexican sunshine is coming to the kick off fundraiser. The one who inspired the peace rally in Dundas Square, the one who supported and encouraged us in the years we tried to adopt, the one and only…..my Mexican brother from another mother, Cesar.

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This is going to be a night to remember and if Cesar can make it….so can you!!

Please join us and help us raise money to rebuild four schools in Mexico. We want to provide a healthy and safe environment for kindergarten kids to go and learn and dream in. Our goal is $10,000 and we will travel to Mexico in early 2014 to complete phase one.

Our kick off fundraiser will be held on Thursday, November 21st in Liberty Village in Toronto’s west end.

49 Fraser Avenue at Stone Soup Innovation Lab

6pm-11pm

We will have live music, Mexican food, amazing auction items up for grabs, drinks and lots of laughs.

Admission is free, but nothing else is……lol.

Friends helping friends…and you get the job done!

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Our first official fundraiser is set in “stone” for Thursday, November 21st. Thanks to my good friend Inbae, who has just launched his own new company has offered his space to host Hope For Mexico’s first official fundraiser. Now the planning can begin and rest assured it will be a night filled with great giveaways, awesome music and food, friends and inspiration. Please mark your calendars, November 21st, in Liberty Village at Stone Soup Innovation Lab.

If you have any ideas for donations, including food for the event contact me directly

ktiessen@sympatico.ca

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We need to raise 10,000.00 to complete phase one of our project. All funds raised for Hope For Mexico will go towards four selected schools in Delores Hidalgo. All four projects will make the schools for kindergarten kids safe to attend. One of the  schools has  been plagued by violence and broken into many times leaving them with nothing and no more funds to rebuild. Another school has toxic tires they play on for outside equipment. We intend to build them a playground that is safe and healthy. Another school has no shelter from the burning Mexican sun, the kindergarten kids are asked to be outside on the patio for hours at a time during assembly’s and outside time. We will build a shelter over the patio giving them the much needed shade they need to stay healthy. And the last school we chose has only asked for books and pencils for the kids to learn with as they have nothing. We will fill that school with everything they need and more.

That doesn’t seem like much does it? Together, we can do this. We can make a difference in these children’s lives.

Join me and my family on November 21st and be a part of our promise to make a difference in the world. Albeit small on a global scale, but worldly in the eyes of these kindergarten kids.

Here it is…..

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Our official logo!!!!

Working alongside The Rotary Club in Delores Hidalgo we have selected 4 schools in rural areas that need our help desperately. The donate now button is operational so please give what you can, a toonie, five dollars or one hundred. This is a project that is completely doable and one that will make a difference to these kindergarten kids.  Not only will we provide them with the much needed items they are asking for, but it shows the kids that we care and that we believe in their future.  Click on the donate button to read more about what our schools need and where our money will be spent. We can do this, one dollar at a time!!

Gifts…..

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Our trip to Mexico was beyond a success, I’ve been meaning to post, but have been waiting for the phone call I received last night. Hope For Mexico is official and approved. We have shifted gears slightly from building schools from the ground up…to helping existing schools in desperate need. This is going to be an incredible year.

I will contact all those who wanted to be involved in building our charity in the coming weeks to set up some initial meetings. I will also post all the needs of the chosen schools. So cool…trust me, this is going to be amazing.

Cesar and Lucas were there every step of the way and none of this would ever be possible without their help, guidance and support. Here’s what Cesar posted in the comments today.

My dear Friend,

Today is very special day and we are very happy… the reasson is because it is moving so fast, I just got last night the info and I have checked today the final 4 files that have been approved to help in kindergardens at Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, México…. your dream, our dream and I am sure our friends dream is close to be real…. helping kids at schools in our belove México, Doing something for kids in education is doing a lot …. education change the our world.

We are in your hands what is next……….. thanks.

Lift off…..

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I am so excited to announce the next phase of Hope For Mexico. We are going forward and will be building our first school in Mexico hopefully by the end of this year.

As most of you know, Hope For Mexico was born in May of 2011, when my dear friends in Mexico were swarmed by violence due to the on going drug war in that country. I asked what I could do to help and he said plan a rally like other cities around the world and let people know how much you care. So we did, our peace rally was held in Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, it was a great success and allowed me to meet members of the Mexican community in my hometown. Those people have been a great resource to me and they have welcomed me and my family with open arms and have supported our cause ever since. The rally was on the heels of Javier Sicilia’s son’s murder at the hands of the drug lords, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sicilia is a famous poet and journalist in Mexico and from the day of his son’s death he vowed to change the country’s now tainted reputation. He lead Mexicans across the country on a caravan for peace. In June 2011 he created a peace treaty to be signed in the most dangerous city in the world – Ciudad de Juarez and as a journalist myself with an unwavering love for Mexico, I needed to be there and walk the final miles in Juarez to watch the peace treaty signing. So off I went and I was moved to the core of my being that day. I was forever changed and from that day I knew what we had to do.  http://ktphotographyblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/the-power-of-a-group-united/

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Freedom is granted through education and education is the key to change. Mexicans deserve the right to an education like any one else and if we can provide that to even just one person than we will have had a tiny part in changing the world. What if – that one student goes on to do something huge in the world, or simply gets married holds a decent job, raises a good family and encourages his own children to get an education. We all can make a difference.

It’s taken us years to get to this point, my family has not felt safe returning to Mexico as the violence has increased over the  years and the timing just wasn’t right. We didn’t know how to proceed with our plans to build schools but this past year, 2012, the perfect storm brewed. My friends in Mexico have been working behind the scenes and managed to get architectural plans for the school, we have a designated village and possible land opportunities to construct the school. The violence has tamed and it’s safe for us to return.

I had the fortunate opportunity to meet with Free the Children, one of the biggest charities in the world helping children through education. And now, the biggest coup yet – I have been shooting and writing books with my brother over the past 8 months and we featured Donna Trellis, the woman who created REACH for the Rainbow, a charity in Ontario that has seen great success for over 30 years.  REACH for the Rainbow Her and I hit it off and as they say ‘the rest is history’. After hearing my story over a very long lunch she has offered her help and her presence on our board of Directors. She was moved by our journey and determination to make a difference and said she couldn’t resist and wants to be a part of it. So, we have our first “official board member”.

We are travelling to Mexico in early February to visit the site of the school and get our plans approved. I am working on preparing our official papers for government approval, we will be changing our charity designation, a suggestion by Donna, as we need to be a registered charity that can offer tax receipts. That’s a more daunting process and a very expensive one, but it will make a difference in donation possibilities.

So here we go…..we are officially lifting off! We will be building our schools so anyone who wants to put a team together or come on their own, we will have all the logistics in place for those who want to get their hands dirty and help build it from the ground up. Stay tuned as this is going to be a very good year.

Consider this……

As I now am working on an art exhibit and plans to grow The Hope for Mexico Foundation, I constantly run in to nay sayers. I don’t begrudge these people and I don’t feel sorry for them either, I’m just thankful that I don’t see the world in that way.  I believe one small gesture can change the path of someone’s life.  I am confident that my and my family’s small efforts to better Mexico, will make a difference, even if for just one person.

I read this today on a blog I follow and it lifted my spirits and solidified my beliefs.

 The Starfish Thrower

For those of you who don’t know it:

A boy is walking along the beach when he stumbles across thousands of starfish that have been washed up. He starts to pick them up and throw them back in.  A man approaches him and says, “Son, don’t bother. There are too many. You won’t make a difference.” The boy picks up another, throws it back in, and says, “I made a difference to that one.”