HUGE THANKS to everyone who contributed school supply donations and shoes this past year. The total of children receiving backpacks and supplies for the 2015-16 school year has risen to 425; surpassing our goal of helping 350 by 20+%.
We see a number of families who receive school supplies in our daily living here on the island. Although we may not remember all their names, they always make a point to greet us in the supermarkets or on the street and share their appreciation.
School began approximately 4 weeks ago. We continue to receive requests to help families who left for the summer and have returned as well as those who have relocated to the island. For example, this weekend we delivered two more backpacks for a senior couple living in the jungle caring for two children abandoned by their mother in another part of Mexico. One of the youth has learning disabilities and will attend CAM, a school dedicated to educating children with a variety of special needs. The other will begin school this week in a small one-room elementary school near their rural home.
Donations are distributed in various ways to ensure they benefit children with the greatest need. The students in this photo were identified by Carla Manzanero, Director of Centro de Autismo (Autism Center). We collaborate with community leaders like Carla, teachers, pastors, several mothers and a grandmother who know families’ economic, home situations or the learning abilities of each student. Carla personally delivered the backpacks to the schools of the students she helped identify so their teachers were included in the process. ~~Karen in Cozumel