We are very excited about the success of this year’s school distributions. 229 children have benefitted from our FOC efforts this year by receiving one or more of the following: backpacks with school supplies, shoes, uniforms, socks, underwear, etc. WOW . . . exceeded our goal by 27% from our original plan to help 180 children continue their education in 2013.

Everyone had to register before receiving supplies.

This year, we held distribution to everyone from a central location where we store our supplies which was on a side street. This created exposure as people passing by noticed lines of people each day and many curious people came up to inquire about the distribution. We explained that we were working on a pre-defined list of recipients and we would be happy to take their names and see if we had anything left over. Once we completed our initial distributions, we took an inventory of remaining items and began contacting these families. We did not have sufficient supplies to provide everything that they might need (especially with shoes as sizes on hand were limited) but we were able to provide all children with backpacks and a core group of supplies. As you can imagine, they were EXTREMELY grateful!

We never would have imagined that we would have been able to help so many families and children this year. But, due to the efforts of so many people who continue to donate all of these wonderful supplies we were able to assist a number that exceeded our imagination – THANK YOU!

After receiving their supplies, children were fitted with shoes

We are busy buying school supplies for next year as we have established a goal to help even more children next year. We are planning to again provide shoes to as many children as possible. These can be new or gently used shoes. We found that we were running short of young adult sizes in the 4 ½ to 6 ½ range.

It is such a joy to see these children’s faces light up as they receive their supplies. Many of them respond with hugs, words of thanks and in the case of Vida Abundante – a thank you note from each and every child. We had mothers hugging us as tears ran down their faces . In the words of one mother of 5 “I don’t know where my children’s next meal will come from. Without your help we would never be able to keep them in school. Gracias, gracias!”

What a blessing to be part of this effort!

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