Santy's Family Fund to Visit Father

$9,206 of $10k goal

Raised by 168 people in 2 months
Lynn Morgan  BOULDER, CO
Santy (his formal first name is Santiago) and his wife, Lilia, moved to Colorado from Mexico in 1998.  They have three children -- a 25 year old married son, a 15 year old son and a 13 year old daughter.  Santy and  Lilia started working as housekeeping/janitors at Flatirons Athletic Club in Boulder, Colorado, in the spring of 1998.  They've been working at the club for nearly 19 years!  

The club was purchased by a large corporate entity a few years ago.  Santy and Lilia are making the highest amount possible in their positions and it's not enough to raise a family.  They have credit card debt because it's hard to make ends meet on their salaries.  Last year Santy's daughter stepped on a nail and had surgery as a result. This put the family even more in debt.  

Santy and Lilia work very hard, always have a smile on their faces, and are friendly and cheerful to everyone.  They clean houses and perform other jobs on the weekends to increase their income.  

I've become friends with Santy and he's shared with me that his father, who lives in Mexico City, Mexico, is in poor health.  He hasn't seen his father since he moved to Colorado in 1998.  He is hopeful that he and his family will visit his parents next summer.  His younger children have never met their grandparents.    

As it is the season of giving, I would love to raise the funds for Santy and his family to visit his parents in Mexico.  Santy and Lilia are such hard workers.  I'd like them to see how much they are appreciated.  It would mean the world to Santy to spend time with his family in Mexico again.  He needs an extra boost from the community to realize this dream.  

If there are any angels who would like to donate/transfer their airline miles to Santy and his family, that would be awesome!  Five airline tickets need to be purchased for Santy, Lilia and their three kids.  I'm sure they would like to spend at least a week in Mexico.  

At this point I have kept this go fund me campaign a secret from Santy, but he might be getting suspicious since I took his photo today :))))  It would be really amazing if we can raise enough money for this trip!  And it would be really awesome to see the look on Santy and Lilia's faces if they are presented with a big check without their knowing what the rest of us are doing!  But it's OK if the word gets out.  I'm sure it will put an even bigger smile on Santy and Lilia's faces as they feel the love from their community.

Thanks for making life a little better for a wonderful immigrant family.
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Update 8
Posted by Lynn Morgan
1 month ago
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Here’s some news that will brighten your day and your week and your year!! I recently presented Santy and Lilia with our BIG check for all of our fundraising efforts to send Santy and his family to visit his ill father in Mexico City, Mexico. Are you ready?!?! From the Colorado Athletic Club-Flatirons community and the rest of our beautiful community who saw a well-deserving immigrant family’s need and decided to make a difference…we raised $12,272!!!!! Another individual chose to round up and make the total donation $15,000!!!

Santy and Lilia had tears in their eyes! They were so touched by our generosity and kindness. Because our airline angel, Gavin Lessing-Caller, donated his airline miles, the $15,000 gift will pay off Santy’s credit card debt, plus cover extra expenses for their trip to Mexico!!! The airline miles for five round trip tickets (Santy, Lilia and their three children) is valued at $2900. Then Gavin covered an additional $630 for taxes and upgraded their seats to allow their whole family to sit together on the flights. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Gavin, his wife Katherine and their kids Ava and Max. They donated their own future family vacation so that Santy’s dream to visit his ill father could come true. Thank you to the Lessing-Caller family!

Another shout-out goes to Liz Bowes-Spiegel, a CAC-Flatirons member, who suggested I include the idea for someone to donate their airline miles in the GoFundMe campaign description. I hadn’t thought of this, but that request clearly touched Gavin’s heart. He had never even met Santy, but he saw a need that he could fill and stepped forward. This happened on Christmas Eve which led to the best Christmas present ever for Santy and his family.

And then there’s Dana Birke, another CAC-Flatirons member, who has a social network like no other! As soon as I approached Dana about Santy’s campaign, she posted it on Facebook and our donations exploded!! We raised over $3000 in about two hours once Dana’s network was contacted!!! This included Simon Lessing, Gavin’s brother-in-law, who posted the link on his Facebook account. And then Gavin saw Simon’s share and the rest is history!!! That’s the power of social media — YAY!! Thank you, Dana!

And thank you to my 18 year old daughter, Melanie, who encouraged me. When I told her about my plan to raise money for Santy by approaching CAC-Flatirons members during the holiday season she said, “Mom, you should start a GoFundMe campaign!” I was thinking small and she was thinking BIG. And the BIG thinking paid off!

So THANK YOU to everyone who participated and cheered us on! Our community is awesome! We have brightened one immigrant family’s lives by treating them to a family reunion in Mexico City in May. It’s been 19 years since Santy has hugged his parents and other family members in Mexico. Santy and Lilia’s teenage children have never met their grandparents or aunts, uncles and cousins in Mexico. Gavin, the airline angel, requested that Santy share a photo of this exciting reunion. I will pass this along in another update in June and we will all smile together :) Plus we’ve given Santy and his family a fresh start by paying off their debt!!! This is huge! We did it together!!! Every donation helped! The power of community is beautiful!

I will keep Santy's GoFundMe campaign open for people who still want to give or who want to make additional donations. Santy and Lilia’s 16 year old son has dental braces which cost $5000. Their 13 year old daughter will hopefully get braces next year which will cost an additional $5000. And how about starting a college fund for these kids?!?! Let’s keep dreaming BIG. I will pass along any additional money to Santy and Lilia.

I am forever grateful to everyone’s generosity in making Santy's dreams come true. Santy and Lilia are so appreciative for what we’ve done. Muchas gracias! Many thanks! xoxo
Lynn presents the check to Lilia & Santy
Lilia, Lynn, and Santy pose for pics :)
Dana admires Santy & his backpack vacuum
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Update 7
Posted by Lynn Morgan
1 month ago
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Hi friends and family,

In less than a month we've raised nearly $9K to send Santy and his family to Mexico to visit his ill father!! It's been a wild, exciting ride and I thank you for your support and for spreading the love.

GoFundMe requires that I withdraw the current funds raised on Jan. 11, so I'm sending a "last call" message if anyone else wants to donate or you want to spread the word one last time :))) Two more days left to give!!

I will combine the GoFundMe contributions plus cash donations I've collected and present Santy and Lilia a BIG check in a week or two when the GoFundMe money has been processed. I'll let you know our grand total in the final update. Again, THANK YOU TO THIS GENEROUS COMMUNITY for seeing the value in giving back to others and making a dream come true for Santy. xoxo
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Update 6
Posted by Lynn Morgan
1 month ago
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Happy New Year to the Santy and Lilia Fan Club!! 2017 is going to be an awesome year because Santy and his family are traveling to Mexico to visit his ill father thanks to all of YOU!!

Today's Boulder Daily Camera features a touching article, "Residents fund 'dream' trip." We made the front page of the Local section along with a beautiful photo of the airline miles angel, Gavin, meeting Santy and Lilia for the first time. Here's the link: http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_30694616/boulder-residents-pitch-fund-familys-dream-trip-back

Santy's wife, Lilia, is quoted in the article: "This is a dream for us, that he can see his family We didn't have enough money for all of us to go. I told him to go alone, but he wanted all of us there. So it is beautiful, what they're doing for us. We're very grateful."

Santy adds that he'll have to wear sunglasses when he walks into his family's home in Mexico City for the first time since he left in 1998. "So they don't see me cry. It's going to be incredible."

To our Community -- Thanks for making this dream come true!! Thanks for giving back and showing your appreciation for a hard working immigrant family. It truly is a happy new year!! xoxo
Gavin meets Santy and his family
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Update 5
Posted by Lynn Morgan
1 month ago
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Several people have suggested that I extend the end date of Santy's GoFundMe campaign. This is a great idea, especially since the heartwarming article from the Daily Camera newspaper hasn't been published yet. I'm hoping for another wave of support from that. Plus lots of people are out of town for the holidays and I'm expecting checks in the mail from others that want to add to the fund. So let's keep the support flowing through January and beyond!

It takes 7-14 days for the funds to process through GoFundMe, so at this point I'll plan to present the BIG check to Santy and Lilia in late January or early February. This will include the money raised from GoFundMe plus cash donations I've collected. Then if folks still continue to donate, I'll keep passing along the funds as they come in.

The dream is coming true for Santy and his family to reunite with his parents!! They are planning to travel to Mexico in May 2017.

Thanks again to Gavin, the airline miles angel, and to all of YOU for giving the best gift ever to Santy, Lilia and their family. They will travel to Mexico AND pay down a lot of debt. My heart is full of love and gratitude for this amazing community. xoxo
Santy & his kids-Ivan, Denise, Christian
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$9,206 of $10k goal

Raised by 168 people in 2 months
Created December 13, 2016
DL
$50
Dianne Ladd
1 day ago
$25
Dieter Bruhn
1 month ago
$10
Dieter Bruhn
1 month ago
MG
$50
Mary Greenwood
1 month ago

Love you Lynnie! Beautiful work!

LL
$25
liles lipe
1 month ago
$10
Anonymous
1 month ago
SS
$100
Steven Stingley
1 month ago
EP
$100
Elaine Pease
1 month ago

Lilia and her family have always been so sweet. Happy to help and thanks Lynn!!

EM
$50
eileen mccann
1 month ago
CA
$50
Chad Alber
1 month ago
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