Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bringing Joy to children's lives!

Last week was really stressful for me and sad with the police shootings. I decided I would go through some of the donations we received over the World Cup and make some kids happy. Most of what we have received is through the promotions of Pack For A Purpose. They encourage travellers to bring donations to developing countries and various projects. Normally I separate the donations into three groups, school supplies, art materials, games & toys. There are 4 projects we support by distributing these items.

Working in tourism has many benefits. Through my many contacts, I am in a position to help many people. I wish I could help the whole favela but I know thats not possible. If we all can help a little then everyone benefits.

Yesterday, I decided I would make "kits" for 15 children between the ages of 7-12 years old. The kits include, a notebook, a pen, a box of 12 colored pencils, a eraser and pencil sharpener. So, I packed up the 15 kits and went out into the streets of the favela with my friend Ana Paula Telles. She requested that we find children in her area. She works for a NGO called Fabrica Verde, here in the favela and know who the most needy children are. We started by walking through some of the alleyways close to her house. We stopped at several houses as she called out names of the children. They would then come to the door and we would give the child their kit. The smiles on these little faces were priceless. And the same from their parents, just awesome.

I will never forget the fundraising project we did with Jim Shattuck and Tio Lino about 6 years ago. Through tourism and Jim's fundraising expertise, we were able to buy 40 string back packs and fill them with school  supplies and then we gave them out to the kids at Tio's project. Again what an awesome feeling to see kids smile and happy that they have supplies for school. I want to do this again. But I would like to do it on a bigger scale. 

I wanted the kits to be given to children who I know were in school and who would appreciate this. The idea was also to spread a little happiness after the previous week of violence and sadness. I know I felt so much better too. Here are some photos of these awesome kids!!!! Enjoy!