Hola friends and family! The holiday season is upon us, and just like in the states, it's a big deal here in Peru. Christmas is really big and next to Semana Santa (Easter), it's the most celebrated holiday. The aisles here are stocked with pretty boxes of panettone...yes, that Italian boxed or tinned bread you see in the specialty food section in your grocery in the states. It is Panettone mania here! The small tiendas(shops) here in Huaraz already have it stacked into neat towers outside their entrances. You ask what is so special about it? It is tradition. The joy is in the gathering of friends and family to share something and celebrate the season. Well, I am hoping to raise money to support a local foundation here in Huaraz, called Stichting Wees Kind..."Foundation To Be A Child" http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stichtingweeskind.nl%2Fen%2F&h=jAQFO__c5AQGbUQC9XIeQo8RDb5p8IvCmoiy0lRymUvcB0w
that has been providing a shelter and two soup kitchens for local children and women needing a nourishing meal and place to feel warm and safe since 2003. I would like for this money to specifically go towards sponsoring a holiday event called a "Chocolatada" that takes the place of eating a Christmas dinner with family and opening presents like most families. For these children, a traditional Christmas celebration is not possible. Most of them are coming from broken families where ends are not met and abuse is not uncommon. This event means a lot to these children who would otherwise miss out. During the "Chocolatada", a very valuable piece of clothing and an item for school(notebook, pens, etc.) are given to each child if the funds are available. These are simple necessities that these children do not have. The event also provides a special lunch, games, and the wonderful tradition of hot chocolate and...panettone!
This event is taking place on December 21 and it would be wonderful to help out this foundation as soon as possible in order for them (along with me) to purchase food and clothing in time. I will be able to make a transfer of the donations given from my account directly to the organization here in Huaraz.
I have personally witnessed how much this organization provides to many children, single mothers, and elderly women in the area. Along with a students project, the foundation offers daily nourishment to give kids the energy to stay in school, teaches them personal hygiene, and provides a comfortable and safe environment for playing and after school activities. I have had the pleasure of "playing" with these kids (and ladies!) one day a week for the past few months and have seen how much it means for them to feel like they have a welcoming place to gather and get a solid meal they don't get at home.
I hope on this Thanksgiving day, you have it in your hearts to help out an organization that I truly know does wonderful work and hopes to give these children a Christmas celebration that wouldn't be possible without the generosity of others. Even just a few dollars goes a long way here and would be so appreciated.
Thank you in advance and wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and holiday season!