There is lots of great stuff going on locally to help kids.
One of my favourite stories in that regard has been the work of folks that Laila has been both helping and chronicling stock and deliver backpacks for kids arriving in Lotusland from Syria.
But my favourite of all is another story of helping kids in need quite a ways away.
That one comes to us courtesy Jody Paterson and Paul Willcocks:
It will soon be four years since we first met the kids living in squalor, smell and deprivation at what was then the Angelitos Felices home for abandoned children in Copan Ruinas, Honduras.
We were on our first Cuso International placement and needed a side project for our weekend hours. Once we made our first visit to Angelitos, we knew we'd found it. Friends and family back home did so much to help us make life better for the children during our two-plus years in Honduras.
Together we raised $30,000 for a range of projects that included new tile floors, a vastly improved water system and renovated bathrooms, clothes, school uniforms and supplies, and weekly excursions to someplace fun for the 14 children for pretty much the whole two years we were there. (The regular visits to a local pool were the highlights, and all the kids learned to swim during our time with them.)
But everything comes to an end, and in April, 2014, we had to return to Canada. One of the great joys of my life was that within weeks of our sad goodbyes to the children, the Honduran government finally stepped in and removed the kids from Angelitos. They were put into the loving arms of the fledgling Casita Copan project and Emily Monroe, a young American who had been living in Honduras for a number of years at that point and putting in enormous effort to try to get the children moved into a better situation. She had already started a day care for impoverished single moms and their children in Copan, and within weeks of the news of Angelitos' impending closure, quickly opened three "casitas" in Copan that now house these children in family-sized groups with a permanent house mom...
Angie Nicole (seen in the 'before' photo with Angelitos caregiver Juana [above], who is now a Casita Copan house mom) was such a sick little baby when we first saw her, the youngest of three siblings all living at Angelitos. Now she's a sparkling four-year-old and lives in a beautiful, clean home with her two older sisters.
So here's the thing...
You can still help make this success story even more successful.
Jody has the details:
Emily's involvement has not only changed the lives and dreams of these children, but has meant my partner Paul and I can continue supporting them and watch them growing up.
I urge you to add Casita Copan to your Christmas giving plan!
Hit the link, above, and kick in a few dollars if you can.
You won't be sorry because thanks to Jody and Paul and everybody they work with some kids who needed the world's help most are getting it.
Awhile back the Lotuslandian bloggodome dug in and helped us contribute to Jody and Paul's early efforts to help these kids...Heckfire, we even sang songs to raise a little money from our readers...It was a fantastic evening.