Mary Sebastian wrote -
A Chance of a lifetime!
I thought that Jef, Marta and Daisy were getting a chance of a lifetime when they had the opportunity to attend Antigua International School, a bi-lingual, College Prep, k-12 school in Antigua, Guatemala. When I visited the school, I was blown away! I can tell you that if I lived in Antigua, I would be doing everything I could to enroll my own children in this school. Should the kids who live at Semillas de Amor be any different? Just because they do not have a traditional family, does that make them less worthy? The answer for many of us who love these kids was NO! So many of the supporters of Semillas de Amor offered sponsorships and donations to make it happen. The children were also awarded scholarships by the school, making it possible! A big thanks from these 3 kids to those who saw their potential and did what they could to help! The kids are doing great! They are loving their new teachers, the school and the new friends they are meeting. They have play dates and overnights with friends at Semillas de Amor and spend time at their new friends’ homes! Isn’t that what a kid’s life should be like? Very few children, who live in an orphanage, ever leave the walls of their home. They don’t have the chance to meet new friends, interact with them and learn important social skills! I love that Nancy Bailey sees the importance of this and the donors who love these kids, see that it happens!
Fast forward to Summer 2013 Another Chance of a Lifetime
These 3 children have dreams of attending college in the United States, and an unbelievable opportunity is unfolding. It looks as though Jef, Marta and Daisy have the opportunity to spend time this summer in the United States, actually living some time with host families! Kids who have no parents of their own, having the opportunity to live within a family unit, develop bonds and hopefully lifelong connections. This is not adoption related, as most of you know, adoption is not currently available to Guatemalans outside of the country. All three kids will be in California this summer, because it’s a new program and it’s very important they remain connected. This will be exciting but pretty scary for these kids! But the possibility exists in future years to become a host family, if the program is as successful as we believe it will be!
No doubt, this will be expensive. With flights, Visa’s, passports, ground transportation and food while in the U.S. it looks as though it will cost around $5800 for the 4 weeks. I know it seems like a lot of money. But let me explain how important it is for kids who live in care to live life as normal as possible. Most times, children in care never have the opportunity to live in a typical family unit, they don’t share individual birthday celebrations, and they never have family vacations or family traditions. When they grow up, they often have no meaningful connections and struggle in adult life! Living in the U.S. for a month will help them with their English language skills, but more than that, it will give them lasting memories and build lifelong skills. You can be part of that!
How Can You Help?
Let’s try to do this together! Remember, most donors are not wealthy people! They aren’t people who can give thousands of dollars. They do it a little at a time. So even if you don't have thousands of dollars to give, you are so very important! It only takes 58 of us giving $100 each! Or 290 of us giving $20! Can you give up 4 Starbucks coffees so these 3 kids can realize this dream? Can you do a small fundraiser in your community? Do you know others who might want to help?
Our family is going to consciously think of ways we are saving and will put that money in a jar for the fund. Instead of ice cream out, we can save $10 by eating store bought ice cream. I’m giving up Starbucks for a month! It will be worth it to see the smiles of Marta, Jef and Daisy, kids we have grown to love over the years! (and I love my Starbucks) I am going to ask all of my birthday gifts be made to Semillas de Amor for this fund this year. We are not a wealthy family, but we are committed to do our part! There are other families doing the same!
Do it for Daisy, Marta and Jef
Think about it. Maybe it’s not in the cards for you today! I know that many of us have suffered financial setbacks through the last few years and money is just not available. If you can, donate! If not, maybe you can just share this page with others who might be able to help. If you want some ideas about fundraising or have some ideas you'd like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! If we all share in the goal, I think we can make this happen!
Don’t forget to follow the kids at Semillasdeamor.org and semillas de amor on Facebook! And most of all, don’t forget them!
I wanted to add some quotes from the kids when asked why they want to make this trip.....
"I want to go to the states to see Mama Nancy. I want to see new places and practice English. I also want to try new food." - Jef
"I would like to see the Redwoods and go to the beach. I want to visit Mama Nancy. I want to go visit new places; especially those that have animals." - Marta
I want to rap my arms around my mom and tell her I love her. I want to go to "China Town". I want to meticulously see the beach. I would also like to see the "Redwoods". I'm a bit dubious about going, ergo I will go and have fun. It's a crucial moment and I'm a bit sad that I will be leaving my kin, but it won't be for long.--Daisy