February was a very active month with the drawing of the donated JetBlue Airline tickets. The winners were from Dallas, TX and Tacoma, WA. This fundraiser was a huge success, and we are very grateful to JetBlue Airlines.
We are in the process of completing Place of Hope as an Ecuadorian Foundation and should be able to open a Bank account at Banco Pichincha in Cotacachi the week of March 11. If you do not live in Cotacachi, your continued support through PayPal is appreciated.
The tax laws have changed in the US and donating to charity is just about gone for a tax benefit. Every dollar you donate goes a long way in feeding and caring for our people. We are all volunteers and are keeping this program working to care for our elderly or those in need.
Each time we increase our services, it increases the strain on our budget that depends upon your generosity. We have started a program on Fridays to give our people a carryout bag with a sandwich, fruit and a small sweet. We know this will help with an extra meal for the weekend since our kitchen is not open.
We had to purchase a new refrigerator and Califone for heating water for washing dishes and showers. Our medical building constantly needs supplies for the Doctor and nurses who donate their time on a monthly basis. Two of our people have needed medical help beyond what our small clinic can do. These extra services almost deplete our monthly budget.
Our food budget, based on feeding 50 people breakfast five days a week is less than $1.00 per person per day. Breakfast consists of eggs, scrambled or boiled, 2 pieces of fruit, rice or potatoes and a roll along with colada, a hot nutritious drink made with milk, oatmeal, and other ingredients.
Our garden of corn and veggies is growing rapidly with the rains. Enjoy the photo of our people shucking beans before breakfast. Our Indigenous cooks will serve them with breakfast several mornings that add to nutrition.
We are trying to find housing for a couple of our people that have no living quarters and were sleeping on a park bench. One person with health conditions is sleeping on a cot in the bathroom at Place of Hope until we can find him a place. Again, this will not be a free situation. Hopefully, in the future, we can find or build a small shelter.
Please take time to watch our video, which shows many of the problems that our elderly people have to deal with on a daily basis.
A volunteer is bringing art supplies to do special painting on tree leaves that are very durable. Many of our people are very artistic and this will be a fun time. We did rock painting last year and they have been placed around our flower beds.
Another project is to show our people the Christmas video. A projector is being donated to use and the person who made the video has volunteered to show it. It will be fun for them to see each other in this film. Little things like this are deeply appreciated as they live secluded lives and our kitchen is a place to make friends and share activities.
Your generosity will help to change lives for the better. People who come from the States to Cotacachi always want to see Place of Hope. Many have never seen poverty and it is quite an awakening.
That is how it happened for me, and I made a commitment to help the less fortunate. I have lived in Cotacachi going on 9 years and love what I do.
Micky, Founder of Ecuador Project Hope
and from our wonderful volunteers