Donations Touch a Variety of Lives—Feb. 4, 2018

Who are the people helped by Friends of Cozumel? They’re young people who want to attend school, but don’t have the required materials and shoes. They’re youth with special needs, families who often don’t have enough to eat and seniors living on prayers and a shoestring budget. It’s also small, local organizations doing whatever they can to help people in need.

Mission weeks include a variety of projects designed to reach these audiences, each funded through generous support of local residents and donors from the U.S., Canada and beyond. Projects may require logistical magic to orchestrate, or simply the work of a sole volunteer. Either way, we aim to improve lives and make families self-sustaining.

Here are just a few examples of Winter Mission Week projects not already described in previous blogs:

Ten wooden chairs and four tables were refinished for Centro de Autismo, an education center for children with autism. Chairs were painted bright blue and the tables had tops of purple chalkboard paint. Wooden shelves and backpack hangers were also built and installed.

Centro de Autismo chairs and tables before.

Sue sands chairs prior to priming and painting.

Centro de Autismo chairs and table after refinishing.

Two picnic table were built for the CAM Laboral school, in addition to holding interactive workshops in cooking, crafts and construction. The heavy wood tables were installed in the courtyard to the delight of students who immediately put them to use. The CAM school serves children with physical and developmental disabilities. “What a fantastic facility, teachers, and young people,” said Hettie from Texas. “It was so inspiring to get to visit.”

Several coats of varnish protect the picnic tables.

Students clean the space for the new tables.

Students have a place to eat their lunches.

Sewing and repurposing workshops were held at a church about four miles outside of town on the edge of the jungle. Congregation members of Casa Oracion (Prayer Home) live in ranchos in San Norberto colonia (neighborhood) and enjoyed sewing boxer shorts and making reclaimed pallet wood projects.

Casa Oracion is a church outside of town.

Carolina shows the boxers she learned to make.

Larry teaches a participant how to use a circular saw.

Dispensas, or food baskets were made for families in crisis. Shopping for basics such as rice, beans, oil, salt, boxed milk and canned goods gave volunteers a good orientation to local diet as well a lesson in navigating a Mexican grocery store.

Youth at Vida Abundante (Abundant Life) Church participated in a variety of workshops. They sewed cinch bags, constructed tambourines from scraps of wood and metal, formed a youth percussion band, and learned how to use tools.

Sewing and decorating cinch bags was fun for these workshop participants.

Volunteers Mike and Jabes at the drill press.

PVC pipe & dried beans made shakers for the rhythm band.

There’s one more group on the list of those touched by donations to FOC: the volunteers. Without donor support, they wouldn’t have the materials and equipment needed to execute the projects. As one of those volunteers, I extend my appreciation to you for donations large and small. There’s also a group of tired but smiling volunteers with me who echo that thanks.

~ Phyllis from Nebraska

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