Can a t-shirt change a life? Yes it can.
Think of it in this simplified way. Friends of Cozumel helps families in need become more self-sustaining by connecting those with resources to those who need them. Let’s say your resource is a new or gently used t-shirt that you’re willing to donate.
Friends of Cozumel volunteers prepare it to be sold at an outdoor Gran Bazar. The prices are super low, allowing people in need to acquire quality clothing, shoes and household goods they couldn’t otherwise afford. Shoppers pay a few pesos in exchange for your t-shirt. The proceeds then support FOC’s educational projects such as recycling, sewing and water purification workshops. New skills are learned and as a result, participating families become more self-sufficient.
Elena is just one example of someone who has benefited from this process. She attended a workshop, learned a skill and began her own home-based business. Now she is the teacher at sewing workshops rather than the student. She also volunteers to help with FOC projects such as the Gran Bazars held two or three times a year.
This week’s Gran Bazar was a bit different than usual. A mountain of donations were prepared and hauled to Vida Abundante Church. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Then the clouds gathered and the rain came, keeping many shoppers away.
Luckily, FOC organizers who live on the island had a back-up plan in place. The promotional notices prepared by Karen and Larry already included a rain date. Part 2 of the Gran Bazar took place the following Monday. Shoppers showed up; t-shirts and many, many other items were sold.
The process is continuing to work. That donated t-shirt has a new life, helping a family in more ways than one. If you’d like to contribute new or gently used clothing, shoes or household items and bring them to the island on your next visit, please contact us. ~ Phyllis from Nebraska