Greetings from Expand Casa Hogar!
As stated in the previous report, the total funds raised to date by Expand Casa Hogar have now been sent to Oaxaca (with the exception of recent donations within the last few weeks). We are excited to announce that after raising $65,000 US dollars towards the purchase of the two-story house next to Casa Hogar, only $4,050 of the total price are missing!
This feels like such a small amount when compared to the total, yet it will enable Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna to close the gap on purchasing the two-story house and property adjacent to their original building.
This two-story home provides housing for twenty children on ten beds. This is a large percentage of the 52 children currently residing at Casa Hogar! The bottom floor of the house shelters their water purifier and provides much-needed storage space.
Casa Hogar currently rents the house they would like to buy at about $120 per month, so the purchase would relieve substantial stress on their budget every month.
The lot on which the house sits also contains a play area and basketball court. In the ideal future, Casa Hogar would add on to this building over the cement basketball court.
As our final days of fund raising for this large and exciting purchase coincide with tax time, many of you may find it helpful to donate to Expand Casa Hogar through Global Giving.
With your support, Casa Hogar can continue to provide safety, shelter, education, nourishment and a loving family environment to 52 of the most deserving, bright, hopeful and charming children I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend time around.
Thank you for your support.
Hope this message finds you well!
Today marks an exciting moment for Expand Casa Hogar. The last of the funds raised by Expand Casa Hogar up to this moment have been wired to Oaxaca. In a matter of days, it will be clear just how close we have come to raising the entire price of the two-story house next door to Casa Hogar, our goal! Hopefully, the gap is very small. Doña Coco and everyone at Casa Hogar are very excited to complete the purchase and are prepared to dig deep for the rest of the money needed!
This additional building provides beds for about half of the fifty-plus children at Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna, a bathroom, room for the water purification system and extended kitchen storage. The property also contains a cement area currently used for basketball and general play which might serve as the foundation for more indoor space in the future. Casa Hogar currently rents the property, thus, the purchase will provide financial relief by removing those rental payments from the Hijos de la Luna budget!
As always, thank you so much for your support. I encourage you to consider helping Casa Hogar close the gap on the purchase (how large that gap is to be announced) by donating on GlobalGiving. Visit our Facebook page or blog for more information!
Peace and love,
Después de 6 semanas largas y duras de campaña por votos y de bombardear nuestro apoyo en las redes sociales con recordatorios, ustedes respondieron con 5,520 votos. Estos 5,520 votos ganaron $120,000 para Casa Hogar en la competencia aquí: www.cultivatewines.com/give!!
La jornada hacia éxito empezó cuando Alex Garcia Kastellanos, un hombre sumamente generoso con su tiempo como voluntario en Casa Hogar y sus ideas para recaudar fondos, contactó Expand Casa Hogar con su idea de entrar en la competencia de CultivateWines.com! Felizmente, tomamos su sugerencia. Fuimos seleccionada con 29 otras organizaciones sin fines de lucro para entrar a la competencia, y tuvimos éxito en ganar el dinero! Pero no hubiera pasado sin la participación bondadosa de unas personas que tendrán que ser sinceramente agradecidas, incluso a muchas otras personas cuyos nombres no caben aquí.
Primero—Andrew Conte! Un hombre tan dedicado a ganar los $120,000 para Casa Hogar como brillante en recaudar votos. Andrew cultivo votos uno por uno y no dejo ni un dia pasar en cual no recordó su fiel grupo de votantes a votar!
Ariana Zaia y Carmen Bolaños! Mi hermana (fundadora y co-directora de Expand Casa Hogar) y mi mamá! Esas dos sucedieron a recaudar votos incontables con sus recordatorios en Facebook y sus campañas apasionadas entre sus amigos y parientes!
Ana Odermatt, quien ha recaudado mas que $120,000 para Casa Hogar, fue líder de la campaña para votos suizos!
Ana, su amiga Saskia, Marilyn Schwartz, mi padre, mi hermanita Mia, y mi madre tuvieron el valor para mantenerse en una puente llena de personas ansiosas para entrar a una festival de música, explicarles la causa y competencia en 10 segundos y tratar de hacerlos aceptar a un collar de recordatorio para votar! Tuvimos éxito 900 veces en 6 horas.
Hector Cesar y Enrique Castillo compartieron su bella fotografía en múltiples ocasiones, fotos que fueron instrumentales en esmerar a nuestros recordatorios.
Cathy Stone, Tina Odermatt, Teri Shaw, Carrie Zadrazil, Gisella Santa Cruz of ¡Ahora Si!, mi padre, Elaine y Eileen Zaia, Ian, Gareth and Wendy Pollard, Rosa Vela Sachs, Giannina Guarda-Hayes, Sonia Carolina Trevino, Robbie Ausley, Reid Gilbert, John Fox, Linda Taylor, Nancy Stafford Griesinger, Edelmiro José, Anthonio Medrano, Erin y Sue Cozart, Linda Day, Deb Leech, Gabriela Aragon, Carlos Coutiño, Cinthia Santiago, Felix Andres Villalobos Cabrera, Carlos Ramon Barrera, Melquizedeth Reyes Bautista, Hassan Parvaiz, Maria Victoria Reyes Cheng, Carolina Vargas Loranca, José Miguel Candelaria Palafox, Sergio Eliseo Candelaria Santiago, Pearl Kilwosz y Ian Green fueron votantes particularmente generosos (estoy segura de que alguien se me olvidó o no mas no me dio cuenta de como nos estaba ayudando! Pero les agradezco profundamente).
Y, claramente, nada de esto hubiera pasado sin nuestras mentores maravillosas, Cynthia y Lydia Perez! Por no mencionar a CASA HOGAR, HIJOS DE LA LUNA!!!!
(por favor, perdonen mi español!)
These last few days have been a rollercoaster of nervousness and excitement. Ultimately, thanks to our wonderful supporters (you!) we won $10,000 US for Casa Hogar on November 1st!!
After six long, hard weeks of campaigning for votes and bombarding our social media support with reminders, you all responded with 5,520 votes. Those 5,520 won Casa Hogar $10,000 in the voting competition at www.cultivatewines.com/give!!
The journey towards success began when Alex Garcia Kastellanos, a man exceedingly generous with both his time spent volunteering at Casa Hogar and his ideas for fundraising, contacted Expand Casa Hogar with the suggestion that we enter the competition at CultivateWines.com! Luckily, I took him up on his suggestion. We were selected along with 29 other nonprofits to enter the competition, and low and behold, succeeded in winning a money prize! But not without the generous participation of a few people who must be warmly thanked, along with many others whose names simply would not fit.
First off—Andrew Conte! A man as dedicated to winning the $10,000 for Casa Hogar as he was brilliant in raising votes. Andrew threw himself tirelessly into the process of cultivating votes one by one, not letting a day pass during which his loyal core of voters were not reminded to vote!
Ariana Zaia and Carmen Bolanos! My sister (founder and co-director of Expand Casa Hogar) and mother! These two succeeded in raising countless votes with their Facebook posts and shares, sending reminders out from ECH whenever I was unable, and passionately campaigning among their friends and family members.
Ana Odermatt, who has raised over $10,000 for Expand Casa Hogar herself in the past, who headed the campaign for Swiss votes!
Ana, her friend Saskia, Marilyn Schwartz, my father, sister Mia, and mother were courageous enough to stand with me on a bridge swarming with people anxious to attend a music festival, explain the cause and contest in about 10 seconds and try to get them to accept a bracelet reminding them to vote! We were successful 900 times in 6 hours.
Hector Cesar and Enrique Castillo shared their beautiful photography on multiple occasions which was instrumental in brightening up our daily reminders.
Cathy Stone, Tina Odermatt, Teri Shaw, Carrie Zadrazil, Gisella Santa Cruz of ¡Ahora Si!, my dad, Elaine and Eileen Zaia, Ian, Gareth and Wendy Pollard, Rosa Vela Sachs, Giannina Guarda-Hayes, Robbie Ausley, Reid Gilbert, John Fox, Linda Taylor, Nancy Stafford Griesinger, Edelmiro José, Anthonio Medrano, Erin and Sue Cozart, Sonia Carolina Trevino, Linda Day, Deb Leech, Gabriela Aragon, Felix Andres Villalobos Cabrera, Hassan Parvais, Carlos Ramon Barrera, Melquizedeth Reyes Bautista, Carlos Coutiño, Jose Miguel Candelaria Palafox, Sergio Eliseo Candelaria Santiago, Maria Victoria Reyes Cheng, Pearl Kilwosz and Ian Green were particularly generous supporters (I’m sure I am forgetting or just unaware of many of you! But I thank you from the bottom of my heart).
And of course, none of this would be possible without our wonderful mentors, Cynthia and Lydia Perez! Not to mention, everyone at CASA HOGAR, HIJOS DE LA LUNA!!!!
Thanks to your awesome work, we are in seventh place right now with 647 votes, but only 18 votes behind the current fifth place holder! Please help us out with a share if you would like
Gracias a ustedes estamos en el septimo lugar con 647 votos, solo 18 menos que el proyecto que esta en el quinto lugar! Por favor comparta la causa si quieres
I, Sophia, current project leader in the shadow of ECH’s great founder, Ariana Zaia, received the opportunity to speak about the project on a local news show here in Austin, Texas called YNN. To read the article posted on their website: http://austin.ynn.com/content/top_stories/288381/student-hopes-to-change-generation-with-compassion.
This is not the highlight of the week, however.
I was very grateful to the news show for their generosity. I was pretty nervous during the early morning interview, but the reporter, Jess Mitchell, was very friendly and made me feel at ease. I wished my sister Ariana could have been there but she is currently in Minnesota at college (Macalester College). I didn’t expect that much would come of the appearance. Maybe a few Facebook likes or shares.
That night my ideas were confirmed as the article on their website received about 80 Facebook shares, but no one made it from the YNN website to our Facebook page or blog, as far as I could tell.
I sat down to dinner around 7 o’clock with my dad, Mia and Ana Odermatt when I received a call from my sister Ariana who was in tears. “Did you see the email?” she asked me.
“No,” I said. “What is it? Is it good or bad?”
“Go look!!” she told me and cried into my ear as I ran upstairs, logged slowly into my laptop and pressed Send/Receive.
And what did my wondering eyes behold but an email from one of the most generous women in the world saying “I would like to donate $30,000 to Expand Casa Hogar.”
Quite clearly, this number was very difficult to process. Up to that moment, a year of extremely hard work from my sister, Ana Odermatt, Alex Garcia Kastellanos and many other friends and family members had yielded $23,000. Two months of hard campaigning myself and I only had $4,760 to add to that number. “Write it on a post-it and stick it on your closet door, you should be very proud” our project mentor and co-owner of La Pena, Cynthia Perez had told me. Whenever I looked at that number, I felt gratitude towards our generous donors but mild disappointment in myself. My campaign goal had been $24,000, which was going to enable Casa Hogar to buy the piece of the land they needed (finally!) with a 20% discount, if raised by the 15th of September. I had not met this goal, although a loan from a volunteer, money raised by Casa Hogar and a time extension until the end of the month were going to allow Casa Hogar to reach the discount.
Later that night, when I entered my closet to put on my pajamas, I saw the post-it stuck to my door and my gratitude towards the $30,000 donor increased a thousand fold. To think, all the hours that went in to that small amount, how impossible the real goal had seemed…and our joint $27,000 total had been more than doubled, literally over night. We have the land for Casa Hogar. We have more than $20,000 extra to put towards the construction of the house! What joy.
Between jumping up and down and running around the house, I called everyone I could think of and gushed about the news. About an hour later, I called Ariana back and she was still crying. I walked back into my closet stared at my post-it note. The idea that the universe conspires to help one reach their dreams had never felt so tangible. This gift truly fell from heaven into the lives of the children, founder and caretakers of Casa Hogar, and my sister and Ana and Alex and Ian Pollard and family and friends and donors and I were lucky enough to witness it. Thank you so much to everyone involved, for all of your help.
YNN interviewed me again on Saturday since they were equally astonished by the news.
Thank you thank you thank you.
On a separate note—we are still campaigning for the amount needed to construct! We have the opportunity to win $50,000 or $10,000 for Casa Hogar, so please use this chance to donate $50,000 without losing a cent from your own pocket! You can vote every day. Voting only takes 30 seconds and can be done here: http://www.cultivatewines.com/cause/49258
HELP US WIN $50,000 on CULTIVATEWINES.COM!
-all it takes is your votes-
We have an incredible opportunity to win a $50,000 grant but we’re competing against 29 other causes, so we need your vote to help us win. It only takes a minute and every vote puts us one step closer to making a difference.
WHO is Cultivate? A new wine brand that believes that a company can both make a profit and make a positive difference in the world.
WHAT is the GIVE? The GIVE is Cultivate’s program of donating 10% of their sales to non-profits selected by voters — non-profits apply on the website, and then YOU vote. The cause with the most votes will get $50,000 and the 5 runners-up each receive $10,000. Here is a video explaining how it works: http://youtu.be/hv-jx3zBx4g
WHERE do I vote? Here is the direct link to our voting page: www.cultivatewines.com/cause/49258
WHEN do I vote? Now…and once every day until October 31st.
WHY should I vote? With $50,000, we could expand Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna, a home providing 55 at-risk youth with a safe living and learning environment until their independence.
For 10 years Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna, Oaxaca, MX, has given a safe home to children of single mothers who work at night. Many are sex workers. Now Casa Hogar finds themselves with 55 children in a 3 bedroom space. This project is raising funds so that Casa Hogar may purchase the adjoining land to build a new building and continue to serve these kids. This cause is urgent. Without more space the older kids must return to their homes – sometimes places such as brothels or strip clubs which are completely inappropriate for adolescents. With more space, Casa Hogar could provide these children with safety, education, nutrition, love and support until their independence!
HOW can I do MORE? Spread the word by forwarding this page The Give flyer or posting to Facebook.
Thank you for supporting Expand Casa Hogar. Let the voting begin!
AYÚDANOS A GANAR $636,000 MEX en CULTIVATEWINES.COM!
-solo necesitamos tus votos-
Tenemos la oportunidad increíble de ganar $636,000 MEX pero estamos compitiendo contra 29 otras causas entonces necesitamos tu voto para ayudarnos a ganar. Solo toma un momento y cada voto nos lleva un paso mas cerca a hacer cambios positivos en el mundo.
¿QUIÉN es Cultivate? Una nueva marca de vino que cree que una compañía puede obtener beneficios y hacer una diferencia en el mundo.
¿QUÉ es el GIVE? El GIVE es un programa de Cultivate en que donan 10% de sus lucros a organizaciones sin fines de lucro seleccionadas por votantes como TÚ. La causa que recibe mas votos gana $636,000 MEX y los 5 subcampeones recibirán $10,000 cada uno. Aquí hay un video explicando como funciona: http://youtu.be/hv-jx3zBx4g
¿EN DÓNDE puedo votar? Aquí hay un enlace directo a nuestra página en el sitio Web: www.cultivatewines.com/cause/49258
¿CUÁNDO voto? Ahora…y una vez por día hasta el 31 de octubre.
¿POR QUÉ debo votar? Con $636,000 MEX, podríamos expandir Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna, un hogar que albergue a 55 niños que vienen de situaciones de riesgo en un ambiente seguro de vivir y aprender hasta su independencia.
Por 10 años, Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna en Oaxaca, Oaxaca, México han proporcionado un hogar seguro a niños de madres solteras. Muchas trabajan de noche. Ahora Casa Hogar está albergando a 55 niños en un espacio de 3 recamaras. Expand Casa Hogar está recaudando fondos para que Casa Hogar pueda comprar el terreno al lado y construir un nuevo edificio para que puedan seguir ayudando a estos niños. La causa es muy urgente. Si no logran expandir los niños mas grandes tendrán que regresar a sus casas—a veces lugares muy peligrosos para adolescentes. Con mas espacio, Casa Hogar puede proveer estos niños con seguridad, educación, nutrición, apoyo y amor hasta su independencia.
¿CÓMO puedo hacer MÁS? ¡Riega la noticia compartiendo esa página The Give Spanish flyer por email o en Facebook!
Gracias por apoyar a Expand Casa Hogar. ¡¡Que empiece la votación!!
We have fantastic news. Casa Hogar will be able to buy the land with the discount, thanks to all your help!!
The owner of the land offered an extension until the end of the month. The money we have raised on Indiegogo, added to the $23,000 US raised by my sister Ariana during the first year of Expand Casa Hogar as well as money raised by Coco and with help from a 0% loan offered by a generous volunteer at Casa Hogar combined should enable Coco to purchase the land!
This is exactly the dream we have been fighting for during the last month (and long before I became part of the project!). Thank you for your incredible generosity; you have made all this possible.
Any funds donated in the last 8 hours we have on Indiegogo (the campaign closes tonight at midnight) will go to paying off the loan! The fight isn’t over yet.
Saludos a Todos!
Tenemos noticias fantásticas. Casa Hogar va a poder comprar el terreno con el descuento de 20%, gracias a todo su ayuda!
La dueña del terreno nos va a dejar pagar hasta el fin del mes (en vez de el 15). El dinero que hemos recaudado en Indiegogo, junto con los $23,000 EU recaudado por mi hermana Ariana durante el primer año de Expand Casa Hogar, dinero recaudado por Dona Coco y con el ayuda de un préstamo que ofreció un voluntario generoso de Casa Hogar con 0% de interés combinados van a ser suficiente para que Dona Coco pueda comprar el terreno!
Eso es el sueno por cual hemos luchado durante el mes pasado (y por mucho tiempo antes de que yo empeze a ayudar con el proyecto!). Gracias a todos ustedes por su generosidad increíble; es gracias a ustedes que todo esto es posible.
Donativos a Indiegogo durante las ultimas 8 horas que nos quedan antes de que la campana se cierra van a ir a pagar el préstamo! Y luego al construcción de la casa. Seguiremos luchando.
Hoy me gustaría escribirles sobre unos hermanos que están viviendo en Casa Hogar: Ulises, Cinthia y Daniel, anteriormente conocido como “Luis.” Cinthia cumplió siete años hace poco (está muy orgullosa de las chanclas y la Barbie que recibió) y Daniel tiene un año de edad. Su hermano mayor, Ulises, tiene ocho o nueve años. Es delgado y un poco callado. Me gustaría describírselos porque son tres de los niños mas inteligentes y cariñosos que he encontrado. Siento que esta historia ejemplifica la intensidad del amor y cariño. Siento que esta historia es un gran ejemplo de las fuerzas de amor y cariño que, dentro de Casa Hogar, nos sirven para unir a todas las personas en una tapicería familiar.
Hace unas semanas, mi hermanita Mia y yo pasamos un día en Casa Hogar. Eran las tres de la tarde cuando Mia despertó a Daniel de su siesta y lo cargo al salón que se encuentra en el patio que también funciona como comedor. Sirvieron el almuerzo. Mia y yo nos encargamos de darle de comer a Daniel. Mientras Mia lo sentó en su silla y trató de darle arroz que había preparado Doña Ale, a Daniel le ganó el sentimiento y lloró con mucha intensidad. Cada que le limpie la nariz, lo cual necesitaba muchas veces por minuto (casi no lograba mantener suficiente papel conmigo), el no paraba de llorar. Todo ese tiempo, Mia y yo nos manteníamos ahí sin poder ayudarlo. Estábamos a cuatro pasos del escritorio donde se sentaban comiendo la hermana de Daniel y su amiga Emily. Cinthia, después de mirarnos preocupadamente con sus enormes y brillantes ojos, finalmente se nos acercó. Nos sugirió, con mucha gentileza para alguien de su edad, que moviéramos a Daniel cerca de ella para que el la pudiera ver mientras ambos comían.
Al principio me quedé perpleja, no queriendo cambiar el orden establecido de las sillas. Sin embargo, decidimos mover la silla cuidadosamente frente a Cinthia, lo más cerca posible al escritorio, y las lágrimas de Daniel cesaron como si alguna llave en su alma hubiera sido ajustada.
Su llanto continuó de vez en cuando mientras le alimentaba su plato de arroz, pero la presencia de su hermana mantenía un efecto de tranquilidad innegable sobre él. Ese efecto se volvió mas claro en su ausencia, porque justo cuando Cinthia se fue a limpiar los trastes, Daniel se volvió inconsolable una vez más.
Limpié el arroz del frente a la camisa de Daniel y seque su cara llorosa, deseando que Cinthia regresara pero no queriendo distraerla de sus juegos. Usualmente, Daniel es increíblemente tranquilo y fácil de consolar. Es conocido por su sonrisa de nariz-arrugada la cual adquiere por encoger su nariz y respirar pesadamente hacia dentro y hacia afuera en una media-risa, medio-gruñido. A la vez, Daniel siempre nos muestra sus dientes nuevos y blancos como perlas. Sin embargo, ese día probó una gran excepción como les he descrito. Ver a Daniel con a sus ojos irritados, entre lagos de lágrimas, fue insoportable para mí.
Cargué a Daniel a donde estaba sentada su hermana con otra niña en una resbaladilla plástica Fisher-Price acostada en el suelo. Esperé que pasando tiempo cerca de Cinthia lo alegraría. No tenía la intención de abrumarla con el cuidado de su hermano pequeño, pero justo cuando escuchó su llanto, Cinthia abrió sus brazos para tomarlo y se lo pasé gustosamente. Ella se recostó de nuevo en la resbaladilla y levantó a Daniel para recostarlo en su estomago, en una posición que usualmente lo hubiera hecho irritarse, pero el efecto calmante de la proximidad de su hermana cobijó a Daniel como una sabana. Él recostó el lado de su cabeza en el pecho de Cinthia y dejó salir un suspiro que pareció liberar cualquier residuo de sentimiento de su pecho cansado. Así se mantuvieron por un largo tiempo.
Read this blog in English here: http://expandcasahogar.com/2012/08/24/cinthia-and-daniel-an-observation/
Who loves classical guitar? And who loves Thales Smith? You’ll be able to enjoy an evening listening to Thales and doing good for Expand Casa Hogar.
Thales is offering a benefit concert on September 7 at First United Methodist Church in Austin in honor of the kids at Casa Hogar. The concert will run from about 7-8 PM.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and $5 for children under 10.
If you haven’t yet heard Thales, I encourage you to listen to him at: http://thalessmith.com/
Yesterday when I opened my email inbox I had a very pleasant surprise–Patrick Floyd, a donor to Expand Casa Hogar, decided to design us an Expand Casa Hogar logo and improve the flyer! I guess angels do exist.
Here is the beautiful logo!
Check out Pat’s fan page! (http://www.facebook.com/patrickfloyddesign)
Ayer cuando abrí mi correo electrónico encontré una linda sorpresa— ¡Patrick Floyd, un diseñador que había donado a Expand Casa Hogar, decidió diseñarnos un logotipo para Expand Casa Hogar y mejorar el volante! Parece que si existen los ángeles.
¡Aquí esta el hermoso logotipo!
Echa un vistazo a la pagina de Pat (http://www.facebook.com/patrickfloyddesign )
Today I would like to write to you about a brother and sister currently residing at Casa Hogar: Cinthia and Daniel Alexis, formerly known as “Luis.” Cinthia recently turned seven (she is very proud of the flip flops and Barbie she received) and Daniel is one. They have an older brother, Ulises, who is eight or nine, slender and quiet. I would like to describe them to you because these three are some of the smartest, sweetest souls I have ever encountered. I feel this story exemplifies the intensity of love and caring which binds every individual at Casa Hogar into such a strong family tapestry.
A few weeks back, my sister Mia and I spent the day at Casa Hogar. At around 3 o’clock, Mia carried Daniel from his nap to the outdoor classroom which also functions as a dining area. Lunch was served and Mia and I were given the task of feeding Daniel. As Mia sat him in his highchair and tried to give him rice from the plate Doña Ale had handed to me, he cried his wet black eyes out. Whenever I wiped his nose, which he needed multiple times per minute (I could hardly keep enough toilet paper on hand), he would only sob harder. All this time, Mia and I stood helplessly by his high chair, about 4 feet from the desk where his sister and her friend Emily sat eating. Cinthia, after looking on with worry in her enormous, shining eyes for some time, approached us at last. She suggested, incredibly gently for someone of her age, that we move Daniel closer to her so he would be able to see her while they both ate.
At first I was reluctant, not wanting to break some unknown taboo against changing the seating arrangement. However, we decided to carefully move the highchair to face Cinthia, as close to the desk as possible, and Daniel’s tears ceased to flow. Some faucet in his soul had been snuggly turned off.
His whimpering continued off and on as I fed him the entire plate of rice, but his sister’s presence held an undeniable soothing effect over Daniel. This effect became all the more clear in her absence, for as soon as Cinthia left to clear her dishes, Daniel became inconsolable once more.
I cleaned the mess of rice off the front of Daniel’s shirt and wiped his tearful face, wishing Cinthia would return but not wanting to call her away from her play. Daniel is usually incredibly easygoing and easy to console; he is famous for his crinkle-nosed smile which he achieves by wrinkling up his nose and breathing heavily in and out in a half-laugh, half-snarl while bearing his tiny new pearly white teeth. Today proved a great exception, however, as I have described to you. His fretting, eyes pools of tears, was more than I could bear.
I carried Daniel over to where his sister sat with another girl on a plastic Fisher-Price slide which lay on the ground. I hoped spending time near Cinthia would cheer him up. I did not intend to burden her with the care of her younger brother, but as soon as she heard his crying, Cinthia stretched out her arms and I handed Daniel over obligingly. She lay back down on the slide and pulled Daniel up to lie belly down on her stomach in a position which usually would have made him fuss, but the calming effect of his sister’s proximity fell over Daniel Alexis like a sheet. He laid the side of his head down on Cinthia’s chest and let out a sigh which seemed to release any residue of sobs from his weary chest. They lay this way for some time.
Lee este blog en espanol aqui: http://expandcasahogar.com/2012/09/04/cinthia-y-daniel-espanol/?preview=true&preview_id=438&preview_nonce=fc819581bd
I hope the school year is off to a great start for you and your families! This is Sophia Zaia, newly inducted Co-Director of Expand Casa Hogar, writing to you with my first report on recent urgent updates at Casa Hogar.
I spent the last 5 weeks at Casa Hogar in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, and returned to my home in Austin four days ago. During my time at Casa Hogar, I saw many shining faces, as the number of children residing under Coco’s loving care has now reached 55. There are new developments–a talented new cook, a fresh paint job on the bus which now displays a rainbow of little hand prints, and the focus of this report–further developments on the purchasing of land and building of the new house which Expand Casa Hogar has been working hard to fund.
Because of the high price of the land, Coco has decided to focus on purchasing just one piece of land. The latest evaluation from an architect came back somewhat more expensive than anticipated; however, the owner has become ill and will lower the price the sooner we can raise the money. If we can raise the funds by October 15th, she will lower the price by 10%. If we can raise them by September 15th, she will lower the price by 20%.
Dona Coco and Expand Casa Hogar have made it a mission to raise the $24,000 US we are missing in order to make the purchase on September 15th. The 20% discount will save us $9,300 US. Coco is currently in possession of land in another state and parts from two buses which she is willing to sell in order to reach the deadline, but this alone will not be enough.
In order to reach this goal by September 15th, I have started a campaign on Indiegogo, a platform similar to Global Giving where we are still installed but one which works around a countdown. The closer we come to our final days, the higher a chance we have to making it to the front page of Indiegogo and attracting a wider audience! This is a key goal right now, since we have already asked so much from you all, our immediate community. The way Indiegogo works, however, the more comments, views and Facebook and email shares we can incur the greater our chance is of a spot on their front page! So please, if you feel inspired to help, spreading the word about Expand Casa Hogar on Indiegogo or dropping us a quick comment (you can log in quickly with Facebook)! It would mean the world. You all, our friends and contacts, are truly our greatest resource.
The Expand Casa Hogar campaign on Indiegogo: http://igg.me/p/211384
Please help us to reach this goal. Many of you have already shared generously financially, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Continued actions such as sharing the cause on Facebook, through email or word of mouth, and liking us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/expandcasahogar ), are invaluable. I have even attached a flyer you could print out and post at a café, gym, library, etc…anywhere you think people might be interested!
Please help us spread the word and meet the $24,000 US goal which we have less than one month to complete!
Thank you so much for your time and support!!!
It has been three months since our last progress report. I have been waiting to write you until future plans are set in stone, but now it looks like that might be a while.
Right now I am staying at a friend’s house in Oaxaca, México. I have been to visit Casa Hogar several times within the past week. It appears that everybody is doing well and that the kids are busy with many new activities including soccer, ballet classes and preparing for a small party/carnival they will hold at Casa Hogar.
About a week ago I spoke with Coco (the founder of Casa Hogar Hijos de la Luna) about buying the land. I was excited to speak with her because during a recent phone call I thought she had told me that the land with the existing one-bedroom building would cost around $8,000. This was far less than I had been previously told and I was very happy because this meant that we would be able to purchase it while I was in Oaxaca in July. Unfortunately, it appears I had heard her wrongly and was very mistaken. During our most recent chat Coco explained to me the following:
The land they would like to buy is divided up into two parts with unique owners.
Piece #1 includes the one bedroom building and is 25×10 meters in dimension.
Piece #2 is also 25×10 meters in dimension but with no existing structures.
Both property owners are asking far too much for their land. The owner of piece #1 is asking for more or less $42,307 US dollars. The owner of piece #2 is asking for more or less $34,615 US dollars.
Coco says the pieces of property are very over priced, and they are (despite the fact that Oaxaca has one of the highest property values in all of Mexico). She let me know that another option is to buy a piece of land farther outside of the city where the property value is lower.
This was frustrating news, but we must push on. Whatever happens is going to take time and patience.
Now, for some good announcements. I will be leaving to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota at the end of August. I predict that acclimating to my new environment and my studies will not leave me enough time to properly continue this project during the next year. Conveniently, my sister, Sophia Zaia, who will be a senior in high school, would like to take on the responsibility of project leader. She has my approval and complete support. Sophia is intelligent, hardworking and inspired. I know that I will be leaving my project in good hands. I have not yet officially passed the project on to her, but I will soon.
During the coming year Sophia would like to work on grant writing. This is something I felt I should attempt, but never had the time to do so. I am delighted that she will be working on this because I feel it is the next step on our way to success. I am excited to see what she will be able to achieve.
Another piece of good news is that Doña Coco was chosen by my class at the Austin Waldorf School to receive what is known as the Michael Award at the 2012 graduation. This is an award given to somebody who has used his or her will power to better humanity. I will honor Coco with the plaque within the coming week and will post pictures both on our GlobalGiving and Facebook pages.
I will leave you with this for now. I hope you are all doing well. Thank you so much for all of your support. Please keep it coming and don’t forget to tell your friends and family about this effort!
I’m here in Oaxaca, Mexico and it’s long overdue that I update everybody about Casa Hogar! I feel that they have progressed immensely since I last saw them. The organization seems to be better, and the children happier. It’s been wonderful getting to see all of the familiar faces as well as the many new faces. It’s also been great getting to hear some of the success stories of the children who are no longer there. “Gordito” and his brother Adelo went with there mother to another city where she was able to open up a shoe shop. Yazmin and Azucena were adopted by a family member. It’s sad for me not to see them there, but also wonderful to know that they are now able to have a steady home life and be with their families once again. Now, as for Casa Hogar in general…
1) Do you remember that one of Coco’s (the founder) dreams for the future of Casa Hogar was to provide basic education for the mothers? Well, they now have a haircutting class every Thursday giving them the opportunity to learn a trade that they can turn into a profession. 6 (out of 26) attend.
2) They have finished out the one-room house that stands on the land they are now renting but would like to buy which means they have a third bedroom for the children. Now, the older boys sleep here. There is a small bathroom with a toilet and sink for them to use.
3) A homework tent with desks where the teacher helps them with homework after they arrive from school.
WHAT’S THE SAME:
1) The plan. They still hope to buy the piece of land next to them and build a second house.
2) The problem. They are still unable to accommodate teens.
So, that’s it for now everybody! Keep up with us by liking our Expand Casa Hogar Facebook page if you haven’t already! If you don’t you might miss some pretty good stuff…
Raising $50,000 is not a one woman/man job. It takes a village. As we get closer and closer to the Global Giving Open Challenge (www.globalgiving.org), this “village” is going to be crucial to our success. The challenge starts November 23, 2011 (only three days!) and continues for one month. To succeed, we must collect $4,000 from at least 50 different people.
Right now we are looking for some leaders. The role of these leaders will be simple: to spread the word . Spreading the word means:
1) Sharing or re-posting what is posted on the Expand Casa Hogar Facebook page.
2) Getting people excited about the project and explaining the Global Giving Open Challenge in whatever way you feel is appropriate!
It’s that simple.
If you would like to become a village leader or have any questions please contact me at: email@example.com
All village leaders will be specially thanked on the website and in presentations.
Let’s get ready to take on this challenge together!
1) Everyday the children grow older and bigger and therefore closer to the day when they will have to return to living with their mothers, many of whom live in strip clubs or nightclubs where the children have already sexually abused (some even raped). These places are neither safe/healthy, nor do they make continuing school and raising one’s self out of such situations an easy thing.
2) Right now they are having to sleep at least two if not three to a bed or crib. In tight quarters illnesses spread quickly and keeping things sanitary is not and easy task.
3) As soon as Coco and her husband (the owners of Casa Hogar) no longer have to worry sending people home and trying to raise money for the expansion, they will be able to concentrate on facilitating things such as education for the mothers and vocational schooling for the older kids.
4) The lack of space means that the older kids and younger kids are constantly together. This puts a lot of pressure on the older ones to be constantly taking care of the little ones. These kids have had more that their share of responsibilities throughout their lives and need some breathing time! More space would allow them time to themselves and a relatively quiet place to study or relax.
This is all happening right now as you sit at your computer, and it is oh so easy to help. Remember, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”
Three days since the video went up Expand Casa Hogar has now received over $100 in donations. This is wonderful! Yes, we still have $49,900 to go, but we’re on our way. There have been almost 150 views of the video, and many more views of the blog. The support has been incredible. Thank you ever so much. What do these numbers tell us though? To reach $50,000 we are going to have to reach many more people than we have. So, this is the next step: SHARE SHARE SHARE!! SPREAD THE WORD FAR AND WIDE!! For those of you who would like to help out, this is a wonderful and easy way. We need to spread word of the cause through conversations, through Facebook, through Twitter, through WordPress, Blog Spot, Tumblr, Myspace, e-mail, snail mail, Reddit,…however you feel so inspired!
Expand Casa Hogar now has a new Facebook page. Joining is a great way to stay updated on the project and to receive photos and videos of the kids and house. Also, sharing the page is another great way to spread the world!
The video hasn’t been filmed yet, few people know about the project, and not a cent has been raised, but there’s a vision. And so, it’s begun. I am now here in Oaxaca, Mexico with Ian who has graciously offered to help me out in many ways including making a video to promote the project Expand Casa Hogar. Tomorrow we will head over to the house to start filming. I’m a little bit unsure of how it will go seeing as the kids are kids and so the house is often in a state of chaos, but we will soon find out.[slideshow]
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