7/29/14-7/30/14 How Can You Help?

June 23, 2016

Hi all! Happy Wednesday! I hope all is well wherever and however you find yourself today! Here is my blog post for the last two days! Enjoy!

In the mornings, it is standard that I am up around 8:30am, have breakfast around 9am, and leave for volunteering around 9:40am to arrive promptly at 10am. I had some great fruit and bread for breakfast and then was off to volunteering! The last two days at work I have been learning more and more about the Abuelitos (seniors) and the huge need they have at Abuelitos de Calle. Because of this, it has been on my heart to share with you all (more or less 100 people) some of the ways that you may be able to help. 

You may wonder which activity I am going to choose to tell you about today that the Abuelitos like. The answer is....Coloring! One of the most loved activities of the Abuelitos is to color and draw. They spend almost two hours drawing and coloring. They each design their own masterpieces with creativity and love! The Abuelitos love to craft and work with their hands. The only problem may be a lack of supplies (Remember that there are anywhere from 80 to 100 Abuelitos each day). Below are some of the supplies given to the Abuelitos to use...And look at the masterpieces that the Abuelitos still manage to make!

Another thing the Abuelitos like to do when they finish coloring (they are only allowed two coloring pages a day to to limited sheets and money to copy) is puzzles! Many times, the Abuelitos get frustrated though because there are only about four or five complete puzzles to choose from!

I was really upset after my first day of seeing this. I was so frustrated that something so simple, like coloring, could make the Abuelitos so happy, but they didn't have appropriate tools to fully enjoy their coloring. I was frustrated I didn't grab and bring the huge bin of markers and colored pencils I had laying around the house that were never used. I was frustrated I didn't think to collect activity books or coloring books which children grew out of or no longer used. I was frustrated I didn't go to the thrift store in the states and buy up 20 puzzles for the Abuelitos. When I got home later that night, I shared my frustration with my host family and something amazing happened....

 My host mom and sister took out a huge bin of old colored pencils and started sorting and sharpening them for the Abuelitos!

By the end of that, we had six bundles of colored pencils, of every color to give the Abuelitos (When I brought them today, they were so overjoyed!). This small act of kindness from my family really got me thinking. There are so many families and items that we have laying around our houses that go unused or are no longer used that could be used here! This inspired me to challenge each and every person following this blog. Below, I have a list of items that I gathered from the staff at Abuelitos of items needed. I am making a proposition. I will split the shipping cost any of these items sent from the USA to Ecuador for people willing to donate items! I hope that each person reading this will take the time and think about how simple it would be to gather a few items on this list and send them out or make a small donation so I can buy some of these things here! I hope and pray that the response and want to help will be overwhelming (I pray I will run out of money from the number of people wanting to send things!). If you would like to make a monetary donation so that I can buy some of the items here to save on shipping costs, please let me know. If you would like to gather or collect items from your home, school, or church please let me know as well, so I can get an idea of how much shipping costs will be and the range of items people are willing to donate!

Here is the list of needed items:

-Colored Pencils/Crayons/Markers
-Coloring books or Coloring Pages
-Notebooks/Drawing Pads
-Colored Paper/Construction Paper/Drawing Paper
-Cards (A regular deck of cards)
-Games (Simple ones! i.e. Bingo)
-Misc. Craft Supplies (i.e. Tissue Paper/Marbles/Paints/Beads)

In addition to that, other supplies that may be useful include:

-Hand sanitizer
-Silverware (Metal or Plastic; HUGE NEED FOR THIS)
-Garbage Bags
-Old Towels or Rags

If you are unable to help, please keep this organization in your thoughts and prayers. There are so many wonderful people I am blessed enough to help here each day and I hope that in my next three weeks here I can make a difference that they will never forget! Keep following for more pictures and updates!