Monday, May 11, 2009

Heart of Life

A few years ago a good friend invited us to join him on a trip down to Tijuana… not to buy cheap Valium or low priced cigarettes. Not for hand painted ceramics, secret potions or magical soaps. But for the orphans.

He invited us to meet at the Park & Ride at the 405 and Sepulveda at 4:45 AM on a Saturday to get on a bus, drive down to Tijuana and visit two orphanages and drive back all in one day. To bring them supplies, toys, diapers, to make them lunch, to read to them, to show them that people care. He was extremely passionate in his invitation. He guaranteed that this would change my life and make a huge difference. How could I pass that up? I was in!

If it sounds like a nightmare to you, that's okay. It did to Bob at first too. 4:45 AM?! Tijuana? Orphanages? He didn’t join me until the second trip. After seeing my pictures and hearing the stories about the kids.

Corazon de Vida is the non-profit that organizes these trips. They support 14 orphanages in Baja Mexico.

From their website:
Corazon de Vida (CDV) Foundation is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization. Founded by Hilda Pacheco-Taylor in 1994, CDV is committed to End the Cycle of Child Homelessness…we believe that moving children from streets to safe housing, improving current orphanage conditions and quality of life and focusing on education will ensure a promising future for Mexico’s orphans.

We believe every child's life is valued and holds the same potential, excitement and opportunity as any other life. It is up to us to work together to make sure our care transforms into each child's hope for the future.

Currently CDV is helping to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate over 750 children each day!

After our first trip down together, Bob and I started sponsoring a child by making a monthly donation of $62.50. After another trip we added a second sponsorship and then later, a third. Every trip down to visit the kids made us want to contribute more. The kids are so wonderful and so in need of help. It truly is something you have to see to believe. I don’t think we would have given $187.50 a month if we hadn’t been there and seen their need and their hearts for ourselves.

Such as the little girl at Los Angelitos Orphanage who had been brought their by the policia at 3 years of age. She was three years old and living alone on the streets begging for food to survive. Her first few months in the orphanage she would have to fall asleep first on a bench sitting up and then be carried to bed. Why? Because she was so accustomed to sleeping on park benches she couldn’t fall asleep in a bed. (?!?) We will never forget her.

Due to our financial quagmire, we had to drop our sponsorships and it was the hardest ‘expense’ to cut. We actually asked my mom and step dad to take over our sponsorships for a while so that Corazon de Vida wouldn’t lose our donations all at once. And they did. Thank you, guys!! We look forward to being able to reinstate our sponsorships. Until then, we hope that spreading the word like this will make a difference.

From the economic crisis to the violence in Tijuana to swine flu, Corazon de Vida is in need now more than ever. Because of Swine Flu, they've had to cancel all bus trips until further notice. Given that this was the main way to generate sponsorships, they are now more than ever in desperate need of support. I’m posting this with the hope that someone, even one person, will choose to make a contribution... even be a sponsor.



- Spread the word - share this with a friend

- Get on CDV's newsletter list and join a bus trip when they start up again - click here to sign up

- Visit the CDV website to learn more

- Attend BLAZIN' HOPE III, Saturday June 6, 2009 at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood (benefit for CDV) click here for info

- Become a friend of CDV's Facebook Sponsor a Child Cause. If they are able to get 1000 friends, a kind and generous donor will donate $1000 to CDV. You do not need to be a Facebook member to join and it's FREE. click here to join the cause on Facebook

What does Corazon de Vida mean?



johnny duda said...

what a beautiful piece of writing steph! I'm so glad you have stayed involved! that guy who invited you was pretty smart (and good-looking) to invite you. you and bob are amazing advocates for those kids.

Love in the Time of Foreclosure said...

Thanks, Johnny. And thanks to that smart (and good-looking) guy who invited us. His persistence paid off. Tell him hi.

George Perez said...

To our good looking and friends ... Thank you for spreading the word!

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