The Christmas party finally took place Dec 17 and it was, in a word, awesome. I never saw so many happy children in one place. Through the efforts of Silvia Belen Moreno and Elizabeth Henriquez coordinating things at New Horizons, the management and staff stepped forward to donate gifts and money for food. Silvia in particular put in so much effort and I am sure that I drove her crazy with so many changes to the list of donors.
Miguel Lau and Lilly Sanchez worked hard on their end rounding up more donors for gifts and organizing activities and entertainment as well as donations of clothes and blankets. They did a great job and it is not possible to thank them enough.
Scott Jeppeson and his organization Sonrisas en Peru, his organization that sponsors this party every year, through his friends and students, came through with more gifts, and other donations for the party, some coming from as far away as New York and Austalia. Scott is no stranger to this as he has been involved with Westfalia for more than two years, and is the driving force that got me involved, for which I owe him a debt of gratitude.
Between New Horizons, Miguel and Lilly and their friends and family as well as Sonrisas en Peru there were more than 200 gifts distributed to 92 very grateful and happy children.
British Expats, through their incredibly kind donations of much needed money were rsponsible for providing a great meal of arroz con pollo, a rarity for these children. This was only part of their total contribution on behalf of Westfalia. Previously we delivered more than $400 of needed food supplies paid for with their donations and Dec 24 there will be a less hectic and more personal celebration of Christmas largely funded by their generosity. We will also commence with painting projects and window repairs thanks to their financial assistance. Their response was, to say the least, astounding.
I know that each and every one of us involved in this project hold these children and Westfalia within our hearts and we are so happy to see so many others open their hearts to help.
Here are some of the photos received so far.
Those were just some of the gifts. There were 100 more in another room for the second round of distribution.
Now some happy children with their gifts.
A message from my good friend Scott:
A big thank you to those who have helped us make this event so special. And thank you to all those who have donated funds, food, clothes, and their time to these kids. Over the past 2 years I have personally seen amazing changes in the demeanour of these children. All come from dire situations whether it be physical or sexual abuse, abandonment, from the streets, or simply that their families cannot afford to care for them. They come from all parts of Peru and join this big family. And they continually grow in character from shy and reserved children into loving, confident, caring, empathetic teenagers. And this doesn’t simply occur through giving food, clothes or classes but from constant contact and letting them know that people do care about them; that they are worthwhile. And the children are well aware of the global help they receive and constantly ask me about the people and countries that contribute. So thank you.
Thanks for that great message Scott.
As for me, I have only been blessed to know these children for 5 or 6 months and am looking forward to as many years as possible with them. That’s all for now. More photos to follow as soon as I get them all sorted. Best day that I have had in a long time.