THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU all for your help, participation, prayers, support and enthusiasm! We gave out 2512 whole chickens and 1800 despensas. That means that 2000 of the most marginalized families in our community are able to eat for two weeks because of you. Woot woot!
I am especially proud this year of my son, Danny. He began helping with the Chicken Breakfast when he was six or seven years old, when we came down here as tourists. This year I watched him jump in and take charge, helping organize volunteers for a more effective handout. He loaded chickens and despensas, and smiled all the while.
I am also very proud of our nieces, the Hernandez girls: Arely, Vanessa, Yolanda and our ahijada, Mara. Every year they’ve participated they do it a bit more actively. First they gathered some clothes, then they waited tables at the breakfast, then they got friends to donate items for the auction and bazaar. This year, in addition to all that, they also collected nearly 200 brand new toys to hand out to the kids! Brava, chicas!
I want to thank that terrific church in Canada (Calgary?) that collected clothing. We got 1/3 of it, thanks to Sue Parker and Vecinos con Cariño. It was a lot, and people LOVED it.
Wondering what to collect for next year? The most popular items this year were:
- TOWELS! OMG! People nearly stampeded for the 20 or 30 towels our family donated. Next year we’ve got to find a hotel or two that is buying new pool towels and wants to give their old ones to us!
- Mosquito coils. We happened to have an extra few packs, and people were ecstatic. Definitely a good item to add to the list.
- Chanclas/sandals and shoes. Everyone loved them. But, please, give us gently used items. This year we had to throw out three large trash bags full of items that were way beyond any useful life, which breaks our hearts. This is an attempt to bring joy to people.
Every year the handout of the chickens is different than the year before. We improve our systems, we learn. This year we were all packed and ready to go on the 23rd. Then, at 7 pm on the 23rd, someone turned in their ticket money from the breakfast, and someone else made a donation. So, Yolanda and Jorge went shopping, arriving home at 10 pm! Then, when we all arrived on the morning of the 24th, we had more packing to do before we loaded the trucks. It was quite the surprise, but all the volunteers gamely joined in and we had an extra 500 despensas packed in no time. Then, to make up for lost time, we had TWO lines of people simultaneously loading the despensa trucks, PLUS another group loading chickens.
We were able to do our prayer circle by about 8:30 and get out on our nine routes to the squatter communities or invasiones.
Blessed New Year, everyone! Thank you and bless you all!