Sunday, January 22, 2012

The New Year

Happy New Year!

Families in the colonias remain upbeat and hopeful. Poverty in the colonas is different from the poverty of America and here there is an expectation that things will improve. Poverty is not accepted among the poor as a way of life. It is inspiring to see a family buy a bag of cement and some cinder-blocks so that they can build their 'real house' and move from their cardboard shack. Little by little they make progress. Although it is tempting to provide the material they need, we believe that by providing a little help we do a much better thing. This will be their house and their family's accomplishment.

Some situations do require more help. We've sent a half-dozen people to the hospitals of Monterrey this month. Most are receiving treatment for cancer and all are children. In at least one case we know that things look dim, but we continue to do what can be done for these children. We stand with the families.

It is uplifting when we visit Pedro and Ambar. These two little children share the experience of losing a leg due to accidents. We helped both children by purchasing prosthetic legs (with the help of Giving Hope Worldwide and a couple from New Jersey). It is uplifting because both of these children are always laughing and playing. They remain happy. The children and their parents do not waste time on wishing things were different. Things are what they are and they focus on their blessings and what they can do to make their lives better.

I will be happy in this new year because I walk the streets of the colonias and surround myself with hard-working people that remain optimists.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ten Years - The time to start is right now!

Our tenth year of working with the poor in the colonias is an ideal time to consider what we've accomplished, how we've grown and what is next.

Ten years ago, things were easy for us. There was no dramatic outcry against Mexico because of immigrants. There was no mass media blitz focused upon every cartel crime in Mexico. The media had not yet destroyed the tourist industry in every border-town. Many other charities and even the Catholic churches in America sent groups to help in the colonias.

Today, much has changed. We seek fresh volunteers to work from their homes to help us. We are primarily focused upon helping children with severe medical needs. We continue to walk the streets of the colonias.

The first step in helping us is to recognize that there will never be a perfect time to begin. Simply start helping. The person you will help the most is the person you will see in the mirror each day.