Last summer three high school students, Nora Bradford, Katherine George and Savanah Hacobian volunteered their time with Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc. The girls lived in the village of Flores and quickly immersed themselves in the community, a stark contrast to their homes in Lexington, MA. Each day they would walk to the nearby spigots to gather our daily potable water. Passing chickens, bulls, and donkeys along their route became the norm.
During the week they had the opportunity to visit many homes, schools, and medical facilities and witness first hand the harsh realities of living in poverty…a lack of food, clothing, school materials and medical supplies. It can be rather overwhelming emotionally when you see the endless need of so many people.
Throughout their visit, the girls befriended many people during their time playing soccer, making crafts, teaching computers and more. After spending a week their friendships really deepened and they chose two boys who they would help in an impactful way. For one they purchased a horse which will not only offer him a form of transportation, it will help with his work as a farmer, something he does along with attending school. For the other boy, they are helping him to build his own house. He currently lives with his grandparents but is motivated to be independent and works as a day laborer.
After returning home, Nora printed and sold many of her beautiful pictures, donating an additional $320.00 to their house building project. We are very proud of these motivated and generous teenagers who are making this world a brighter place, and certainly made a lasting impact on the boys’ futures.
Thank you all.
Christmas is coming…how do you feel? The other day I was asked, “are you stressed by what to buy for Christmas? and I could honestly say, “no.” It’s not that I don’t look forward to buying gifts for my family and friends and watching their reactions when they open the presents (and hopefully like them). I enjoy letting others know I am thinking of them, and they are special to me. But, I also know they are often just “things” and last temporarily.
Maybe this feeling is just something that happens as we get older? The days have long since past when I searched the Sears Wish Book and wrote my long list to Santa. Or more significantly, I believe it’s how my experiences in Honduras have enlightened me. Every visit teaches me more about others, as well as, myself.
My daily thoughts drift to my Honduran friends. They have made the greatest impact in my life…the way I think, the way I act and react in different situations, and certainly what I value in my life. I continually catch myself thinking how trivial many things are in my life…”what should I make for dinner?” “which is the better medicine?” “what should I buy someone for Christmas?”
These types of “dilemmas” would never cross the minds of people in Honduras. I certainly shouldn’t think of these situations as stressful and be reminded how fortunate I am…my friends in Honduras couldn’t comprehend these scenarios and certainly would be grateful to be in my position.
My experiences in Honduras are lasting gifts and ones I treasure throughout the year, not just at Christmas time. Thank you to all who continually teach me life changing lessons. Merry Christmas!
Celebrate “Giving Tuesday” by donating to Esperanza – Hope For The Children, Inc. which offers hope and changes lives… one child at a time.
100% of your donation provides direct assistance.Tax receipts will be provided.
Thank you for your continued support in helping others in need.
Donations may be mailed to:
Esperanza – Hope for the Children, Inc.
43 Peter Bulkeley Road
Concord, MA 01742
Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc., would like to extend our appreciation to the Lawrence Academy community for your recent donation of clothing, school supplies, toiletries, over the counter medications, and craft supplies to our non-profit organization. We are especially grateful to your Community Service Club for endorsing this project and for the two student volunteers, Jillian Clymer and Elizabeth Morrison, who spearheaded the collection.
Honduras has never been in greater need of assistance. We recently returned from a three week visit to the village of Flores and found their health center (Centro de Salud) in dire need of medications and supplies. The donations from Lawrence Academy included pain relievers, cough medicine, band aids, gauze dressings, anti-fungal and antibiotic creams which were all greatly appreciated, and essential in providing treatment.
Students were thrilled to receive pens, colored pencils, crayons and rulers. Often times families can’t afford these materials and therefore their children can’t attend school.
Esperanza would like to offer our thanks to each and everyone of you who enable us in helping one child at a time. Happy Thanksgiving!
Three weeks from now we will be in Flores, Honduras. As the time draws closer, we are actively soliciting donations from others including medications, dental supplies, school supplies, clothing and footwear.
I cannot adequately express the feeling I receive from other people’s generosity. Individuals and organizations who abundantly give to others in need, despite the fact they will never be able to personally meet them. Perhaps they are following the advice of John Bunyan who once said, “you have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
One recent Friday afternoon the UPS truck arrived to our home. It’s always fun to see the truck pull into the driveway with a delivery but this drop off was huge. Several large boxes containing over $31,000 of free medication arrived from Brother’s Brother Foundation. It was as though Christmas had arrived early and excitedly I unpacked everything to reduce the extra packaging and minimize the weight in our luggage. My thoughts rushed back and forth between this wonderful organization who has supported Esperanza (and countless other nonprofits) over the years, and our Honduran neighbors and local health center that will benefit from their gifts.
Last week a friend from church who is an executive at Staples presented us with their yearly donation of school supplies. Once again, that energizing feeling returned as I thought “there are so many caring people in this world.” I look forward to seeing the children’s faces as they open up a brand new box of crayons or colored pencils. Not only will they treasure their new school supplies, they will also be reminded that people living far away from them, care.
Yesterday, the delivery truck was back once again. This time a box from Global Grins had arrived containing 100 toothbrushes. Our local dentist has kept us well stocked with toothpaste for many years but we are often in need of toothbrushes, and this organization came through just in time! In Honduras, very few have the opportunity to visit a dentist so prevention is all the more important.
To each and every one who has shared your own generosity, we thank you all.
Earlier this year I had written about a young man named “Denis” who was suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Tom and I had been introduced to him last November and he was gravely ill at the time. GBS is a disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your peripheral nervous system. It’s a rare disease which affects only 1-2 people in 100,000.
Prior to the onset of his illness, Denis was a healthy young man and avid soccer player. When he began exhibiting signs of tingling and weakness in his lower body and then life threatening complications of difficulty breathing and swallowing, he was hospitalized in Tegucigalpa.
Denis’ health was rapidly declining…the numbness and pain spread throughout his body. The doctors needed to perform a tracheostomy to lessen the work of breathing because his respiratory muscles were so weak. They also had to insert a feeding tube because he was unable to swallow.
Following his hospitalization, he returned home to his devoted mother and large support system of family and friends. Denis remained dependent on oxygen and required expensive medication. Although the family managed to raise some money, they fell short and turned to Esperanza for financial support.
Nine months past before I returned to see Denis and was thrilled to witness the improvement he had made! No longer was he lying in bed; he happily greeted me riding his bicycle! Denis continues with physical therapy, taking vitamins and actively trying to gain weight.
Although he isn’t back on the soccer field yet, I told him I expected to see him there when we return this fall. Best of luck with your continued recovery.
This summer two of Esperanza’s ongoing medical patients, 11 year old Noel and 8 year old Astrid had the opportunity to be with us for 6 weeks. There is a great deal of coordination and efforts made by many people to allow these children to receive the necessary care.
The first step is arranging their medical appointments with Tufts Medical Center in Boston and Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield. For the past 7 years, The Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation has generously provided financial support which paid for Noel’s open heart surgery and all the follow up care and evaluations. He is currently living without a valve and is closely monitored for change in symptoms which would indicate the need for another operation. Astrid has been receiving free care from Shriners Hospital since she was 2 years old. She was born with ”lipomeningocele” which is a condition involving the spinal cord that required an operation to resect and detether it. She has also been operated on multiple times on her left “cavus” foot. This summer, she was suffering from pain on the dorsom of her right foot and was fit for an “ankle-foot orthosis” (brace) which she will need to wear every day, and it is recommended she be seen in 6 months.
Ana Hernandez spent countless hours working with their families to obtain a new visa for Astrid and helping them to obtain the necessary legal documents for the children to leave the country. She also coordinated their transportation to the airport and assisted with the Imigration official and airline ambassador. Ana’s expertise has benefited so many of Esperanza’s patients.
Wayne Lee from American Airlines International Children’s Medical Escort Program arranged the scheduling for 2 volunteers, Cynthia Banker and Paula Rushworth, who escorted the children from Tegucigalpa, Honduras to Miami, FL and then onto Boston, MA.
We’re thankful for the ongoing support from Pilgrim Congregational Church in Lexington, MA and Nancy and Charlie Morrison of Concord, MA. They paid for the airline tickets to make this trip possible.
Lastly, to all our family and friends who have welcomed Noel and Astrid into your own lives, we are forever grateful for your love, involvement and support.