Lizzie’s Legacy Continues

Lizzie

Lizzie Morrison’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of others continues with her recent book drive for Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc. This has become an annual event for Lizzie who reaches out to her neighborhood community of Concord as well as her school community (Lawrence Academy) in Groton. This year over $1,200 was raised for Esperanza, and  half of the books sold were donated by Lizzie. Proceeds from the sale will be used for community projects in the village of Flores, Honduras.

Esperanza is grateful for all the individuals and organizations who have supported us throughout the years. However, we would like to acknowledge particular people who have dedicated years of involvement  such as Lizzie Morrison. Lizzie began volunteering with Esperanza when she was an elementary school student. She began visiting patients in the hospital and became an active participant as a member of a “host family” for children in need for temporary housing, prior to their return to their native country.

Lizzie has continued her active involvement by mentoring Honduran children who are here for medical treatment, raising awareness of this country which is the 2nd poorest in the Western Hemisphere and inspiring her peers to follow her leadership of making a difference in the world.

We are thankful for all the lives Lizzie has touched and will continue to impact in the years to come.

 

 

“Ask and you shall receive.”

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Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc. would like to offer a huge “shout out” to the folks at Samaritan’s Feet. Yesterday we received several boxes (containing 288 pairs of children’s “croc type” shoes and 91 pairs of adult flip flops). This generous donation of footwear will have a significant impact in the community of Flores, Honduras and beyond. The rubber made shoes are durable and will hold up well in the rainy, muddy weather.

We are avid proponents of prevention and these shoes will provide protection from many illnesses and injuries. Children are required to wear black shoes to school and we’re hoping these will fill the requirement. Unfortunately, many school age children do not attend classes because they cannot afford shoes or other pieces of their uniform. It is a common sight to see children running barefoot down littered dirt roads often resulting in bloodied open wounds…we know these gifts will be treasured.

We’re thankful of our new relationship with Samaritan’s Feet and the wonderful work they are doing throughout the world. Next month Rev. Lauren Lorincz from Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC in Lexington, MA will be joining us on our trip and we look forward to handing out shoes with her.

 

Pilgrim’s Playground

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Esperanza has been working in the village of Flores, Honduras since February 2002. Over the years, we have been involved with many projects and individual cases. One of our dreams has been to build a playground…a safe place for children to play and be happy. This dream has now become a reality thanks to the financial donation from Pilgrim Congregational UCC Church in Lexington, MA, Presidente Luis Inestroza and the entire Patranato Board in Flores, and Ms. Diana Fuentes who facilitated the project.

Pilgrim Church has been actively involved in Flores for many years by sending volunteers, providing financial support and material goods. The community of Flores recently elected a new Patranato Board (similar to a Board of Selectmen) and they have proven to be a dedicated, hard working group of individuals committed to improving their community in a transparent manner. Never before have we worked with people more insightful, supportive and appreciative of our involvement.

The playground was installed last weekend, and Diana reported, “the kids went crazy playing!” We look forward to expanding this playground, and working on other projects with the Patranato Board to bring “hope” to this community and offer their residents the opportunity to see their own dreams come true.

The re-entry process…

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It’s been two days since we returned from a three week trip to Honduras, and I’m beginning to adjust to life here. This time our return flight was cancelled, we switched airlines last minute and connected in Atlanta instead of Miami. Have to admit, it was easier entering the States this way…less chaotic, and not the same slap of reality.

I wish I could have taken the time and had the energy to write while I was away, but I really do “live in the moment” while I am there, and spend little time thinking about life “back home.” It’s too bad because I’m often in the midst of intense feelings and perhaps I would be better at conveying it then, but here goes.

There’s no way to sum up our trip in a few paragraphs but I’ll re-cap one experience. My first thought is the night we had an emergency at our home. I was getting the kids ready for bed, when I heard Mita Gomez (our new Honduran coordinator) yelling my name outside our locked gate. I ran to the door and saw Mita, her husband and a young couple with a toddler in their arms. The child was in a seizure, non responsive and they were looking for Tom (a pediatrician). As Tom checked the little girl’s heart and was relieved to find her breathing, I ran next door to our neighbor, “Patricia” who is a Honduran doctor.

I will never forget the sight of this child (rigid and staring blankly) or the shear panic of her parents, especially her step-dad who was drenched in sweat, praying his heart out, pleading to us not to let the child die.  Patricia gave her an injection (standard Honduran protocol) , we tried to calm the parents down, handed Mita some money (for gas and medication), and off her husband sped to the hospital.

As they arrived at the E.R. the child’s seizure continued, they had to wait in line with the mass of people and when they were eventually seen by the doctors they were informed there was no medication, they would spend the night and when they came up with the money some exams would be done. Despite the mother’s offer to give us their home (pictured above) in exchange for help with medical care, we assured her it wasn’t necessary.The next obstacle was finding people to donate blood…determining a match and convincing people to give.  This little girl remained in the hospital for the next two weeks, and since then, moved to a hospital in the capitol. We are still following her case from a distance.

It was a stark reminder of many things…living in poverty and not having the means to purchase medicine or have transportation in an emergency, life in the third world with inadequate medical care and non existent medicine. These feelings resonate with me as I return to the U.S.A., and try to be patient when I hear people complaining about the most inconsequential things…and remember, I am the “fortunate” one for having the opportunity to experience life elsewhere and gain a different perspective. I hope others will have this chance.

High school students making a difference.

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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 Throughout The Year

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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!

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

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