Help us support the families of Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala.
What is the #1 piece of advice for preventing the spread of COVID-19? Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Easy enough, right?! But what if you’re one of the millions of households in the world that does not have access to running water? What if in the midst of the stay-at-home order your only access to water was to walk across town to the public well? And what if that well water wasn’t even clean but still in need of purification? Such is the story of the people of Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala.
Mary’s Hope Inc. is a non-profit organization started by my good friend, Julie Ray, to help the children of Guatemala. Julie visited the country on a mission trip and was greatly moved by the people she met there--their kindness, happiness, humility, and love. Julie didn’t let it end there but came home determined to do more to help them-- and Mary’s Hope was born. Our primary mission is to establish a private Christian elementary school in the small village of Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala. Our vision and hope are to give children access to a free education, with the benefits of a hot meal, medical help, safety, and economic support. The children of Santa Maria de Jesus have had little to no formal education even into their teen years. It is our hope that education will be the vehicle to escape poverty.
Our plans for the opening of the school, the beginning of our preschool program, and other education support programs for the children are put on hold right now as is much of life--a great disappointment for these families. My husband and I agreed in October to sponsor a child through Mary’s Hope-- an adorable girl with a brilliant smile, the same age as our youngest child. She was eagerly looking forward to starting school in March and is bitterly disappointed that the coronavirus pandemic has postponed this long-awaited event! She has been asking when this will be over so they can “learn numbers.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, Mary’s Hope is working to provide for the safety, medical assistance, and economic support of the families in Guatemala whom we have committed to help. We need the funds to cover these needs while attempting to maintain funding for education in the, hopefully, near future. Their needs are very basic--hygiene items like toilet paper, shampoo, hand sanitizer, and soap, medical items like acetaminophen, plus basic food staples like corn to support a family for 3 weeks. We have been purchasing filters to provide clean water for consumption and hand washing to stop the spread of coronavirus, even if they still have to walk across town to get to the public well (at least they have that!). Our dream would be to also have the funds to assist with medical care in the worst-case scenario that one or more contract the illness.
Our top priority has been buying water filters to give these families access to clean water so they too can sing the happy birthday song while they wash their hands multiple times a day! We humbly ask you to consider donating even a small amount to cover this cost that is straining our budget. Each water filter is $90 USD so our goal is to raise $1000. Any extra funds will go towards continuing to provide the basic food, health, and hygiene items I mentioned above and future medical care if needed. If those needs are met, we would love to provide the children with simple at-home education items like paper and crayons. Many of us have been abundantly blessed and are looking for ways to help our fellow humans during this crisis. If this is you, please consider donating even a small amount. If you cannot contribute financially at this time, please keep Mary’s Hope and the families of Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala, in your prayers! Thank you.