The Christmas Party at Place of Hope was a huge success!
Our two Indigenous cooks at Place of Hope prepared a wonderful lunch to feed our elderly poor and those in need. We served 140 people – some arrived around 8:00am for a light breakfast and just waited for a hot lunch. Some of these people walk from one to two hours for a meal in the morning.
A local chorale group sang Christmas Carols accompanied by a keyboard player. A guitar player and sax musician played soft music in the dining room of the kitchen. We had such an overflow of people that we used a second building. When we ran out of chairs and tables, they sat outside wherever they could find a spot.
Santa was a big surprise and with his 5-year-old helper, handed out bags of cookies and candy. It was a fantastic festival enjoyed by everyone. Our volunteer people did a great job of serving and cleanup. This Christmas Party was provided by your generous donations that we deeply appreciate.
On Thursdays we offer hot showers and a change of clothing when available. Through JetBlue Airlines generosity we were able to provide four men with a total change of clothing. They were so grateful and could not even express their words. One man lives on park benches and carries all his belonging in a backpack. We gave him a blanket with a neck pillow.
Nurses who are now living in Cotacachi are promoting medical services for our elderly here at Place of Hope. Two Doctors arrived last week and donated their time checking out our people. They will return on January 8 and will continue serving once a month. One person was in need of a prescription, which your donations provided. On their next visit, they will concentrate on ear problems and hopefully have solutions. We hope to have an eye doctor and dentist in the future.
If you are travelling to Cotacachi, and would like to offer your expertise in these areas, it would be deeply appreciated. Many of these people suffer with chronic problems and we hope to see that they are provided with ongoing medical care.
A surprise journalist came to our Christmas Party and did a great story about our work in serving these unfortunate people. Following is a little outline in English:
Feeding with Love
Seeing many elderly people in the streets, without food and without attention, moved Micky Enright’s heart. She doesn’t speak Spanish, but with the help of other foreigners, decided to help the elderly.
The food costs approximately $1000 per month, which is used to provide 15,000 rations each year.
Salome, the cook, says, “I’ve been helping the elderly for 16 months, and the experience is marvelous. We share our experiences and much love with everyone.”
Christopher, one of the volunteers, says “I was a police officer for 20 years, and now I am very happy volunteering in this beautiful country that has received us two years ago.”
Johanna, another volunteer, said, “Volunteering is very important to me, because God has given us a lot. In my country, I was a teacher for special needs children.”
Blanca, another volunteer, said, “We buy food at the market on weekends and we prepare breakfasts all week. I like helping the elderly.”
Your generous donations during 2017 have provided breakfast, medical care, clothing, and smiles for many people that wouldn’t normally have any of these things.
Place of Hope will continue having new challenges in 2018, and we depend upon your generous donations.
Our volunteers all wish you a happy new year, and may 2018 be filled with peace, joy, and blessings for you and yours.
Founder of Ecuador Project Hope