Friday, October 10, 2008

Warm Hearts Make Warm Hands

Do you all read VivaVeracruz? It's John Calypso's blog from the jungle of Veracruz. If you don't, you should. He and his wife, Anita, are living closer to the land and its' people than most of the rest of us expats. Or at least the ones I know about. He lives in a climate that turns cold and wet in the winter. The kind of cold that chills your bones and your soul if you let it. And the people there are poor. The kind of poor that most of us never encounter.

John once wrote a story that had me in tears by the end of it. Briefly, it dealt with a father who so loved his little daughter that he saved his pesos, one by one, until he almost had enough to buy her the Christmas present she wanted. A Barbie doll. Come Christmas, he hadn't quite saved enough so the shopkeeper let him have the doll but he had to continue to make payments on it for months to follow. Can you imagine both how the strong the love was from this father to his daughter AND the abject poverty that required monthly time payments for a Barbie doll?

I want to help this community keep its' soul warm. A little help would be appreciated. So I am making this proposal to all of you.

Knitters, crocheters, sewers and anybody else who cares:

Get our your needles, grab some yarn from your stash (which I know you all have!) and start clacking those needles as fast as you can for the people of Ursulo Galvan. I would like us to absolutely swamp that community with much needed hats, scarves, mittens, sweaters, whatever warm piece of clothing you feel capable of making. The more the better.

And those of you not up to crafting your own item: Get yee to your local Goodwill or thrift shop. Comb through the stock and pick out some nice items to send. It'll cost you what, maybe $10 to get a pile of stuff? Your feeling for having done something to help somebody else will more than pay you back. Plus you get some credit into your Karma Bank. (that's why I am knitting as fast as I can right now!)

It would be nice if you could get the stuff into the post by the middle of November, to ensure stuff gets there around Christmas, or at least during the cold season.

I think we will be sending stuff to the local Priest but I don't have the exact address yet. Doesn't matter. Get busy working on your stockpile in the meantime!

I will post the address in the sidebar once I get it so keep watching there.

Once you have sent something, send me an email with your name, name of city, state and country. I will be doing a special Christmas Day post listing all of your kind names and giving you the credit you so richly deserve.

Thank you all my friends.


Julie said...

I'd like to read John Calypso's blog but it doesn't link to the right address. Can you post the right link please? I only found the Viva Veracruz Forum, but I really want to read his blog! Thanks!

Islagringo said...

julie: fixed it. thanks for pointing that out! try it now.

K.W. Michigan said...

Count me in .. I'll start crocheting tonight and will also hit a thrift store. My only concern is that my package will make it to Mexico. Helping poor people at Christmas time is so uplifting!

Nancy said...

Wayne, You're the best! My post is up now, too! I am excited to see what we can all make happen for these kids.


ArizonaKelly said...

I get the same thing Wayne. The link points to a site that says "Viva Veracruz coming soon"

Calypso said...

Wayne - We are VERY touched by your kindness towards the people of our little community.

Of course there are so many opportunities to help others these days - that written I assure you these kind and gentle souls that we live amongst are most needy.

Recently Hollito donated (with a great effort to gather and ship from Germany)a laptop computer for one family here in the Hood. I have been working with them getting them on the Internet and teaching basic skills like word processing and the use of a spreadsheet.

I promote hands and hearts across borders on our Veracruz Forum. I hope the Mexican government and its people are well aware of the kind hearts of the extranjeros living in Mexico.

Mucho Gracias Amigo!

That best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.

- William Wordsworth said...

Wayne, I can't knit or crochet or sew. But I'm really good at buying toys for kids. What about that?

Michele in Playa said...

Wayne - We are coming to Isla for work next weekend. Can I bring a few items to you? I just don't trust our postal service here.

Islagringo said...

kw: thanks! I'm not sure when or how the distribution will go. We aren't necessarily sending Christmas presents to this community so when your package arrives is not that crucial when. It takes about 4 weeks from the USA to reach us.

Nancy: no, you are the best! Thanks for jumping on the band wagon to get this news out.

arizonakelly: not sure when you checked that link but I fixed it about 5 minutes after posting it. I tried it and it works so I am answerless. If all else fails, he is in my blogroll and you can get to him there also.

calypso: it is my joy to help your neighbors. Let's hope they get swamped with stuff!

heather: I'm sure toys of any kind would be appreciated. Thanks for caring!

michele: absolutely. I'll just put them in with my package. But I'm not all that sure that postal Isla is any better than postal Playa! I think putting a church address on the packages is going to help insure delivery though.

Steve Cotton said...

I would like to second Nancy's action. The more of us who post on our own blogs, the wider the news will spread.

Babs said...

Wayne, for those with stuff who are in the USA, why don't you find someone driving down so you don't have to pay duty, etc. on the stuff coming in.....chances of it getting there are slim to almost none?
Just a thought! Great idea by the way......I had NO idea it got cold there, what's the elevation?

Babs said...

Ah, I just went over and read John's blog and I see he discussed the problem. I'll "stay tuned" for the answer.

AHealey said...

Great idea Wayne - I will go home and start crocheting tonight. Kudos to you for getting this underway!

Jackie said...

Damn! The Barbie story made me cry!
I will be watching for the mailing address or alternate way to ship some stuff down. I am not a crafty person but I know a great thrift store that often has brand new children’s clothes and many adult items that are gently used. I have purchased many times from this store to take needed items to Isla especially after Hurricane Wilma when there was much demand for items on the island.

Anonymous said...

I hate Barbie. She totally emasculates Ken and treats him like dirt.

Jonna said...

Wayne, you've got me all choked up with this great idea. I love you.

I'm like Heather though and don't knit, crochet or sew but I am a great shopper!! I'll get some stuff together as well.

As it gets more into winter in the north, the number of tourists coming south increases and we should be able to find "mules" to bring the stuff down. Once here, we can figure out how to get it to Ursula Gavin. I'm thinking if we combine it into boxes that perhaps Estafeta wouldn't be too expensive. I'll pay for a box, we just need to fill it. I'll also check the cost from Merida which should be less than from Isla.

Islagringo said...

steve: thank you for your post to promote this. it is appreciated.

babs: all we can do is try.

ahealey: thank you!

jackie: anything would be appreciated. I think it would be fun to go to a thrift store and shop for kids!

anonymous: I think you have totally missed the point.

jonna: what a sweet offer. would you like me to come down some weekend and teach you and Mimi to crochet or knit? It would give you something to do during those long drives to Merida!

Islaholic Trixie said...

I don't knit, but I will bring some items with me to Isla in a few weeks. Maybe I can send them from there.

Islagringo said...

trixie: sure, bring whatever you want or can. If you don't get a chance to mail them (boxes are hard to find here!), you can leave the stuff with me and I will put it in with my stuff.

Islaholic Trixie said...

Thanks Wayne!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I arrived in Coatepec (near Xico & Ursulo Galvan) recently & will be here for six months. I know Calypso & his wife Anita, and love to knit. So, I'm excited with this project.

For those of you sending knitted or crocheted items, please try to include the label with fiber & laundering information. If, unsure, I can do the "flame" test and make a reasonable assumption about the fiber and the appropriate "laundering" info.

I told Calypso, that I could make up some simple care instructions to be copied & attached to each knitted or crocheted item. It would be a shame for someone to ruin and lose the use of a woolen item, by washing vigorously in hot water, wringing it out & accidentally "felting" it.

Another thought is to simplify the whole process, by pretending that each and every item is "wool" & simply attach one set of care instructions that will work for all of the fibers without adverse effects.

Since the people are poor, most of them do laundry by hand, and in many cases, in cold water anyway. They'll just need a little appropriate advice about washing & rinsing gently, not wringing out, and drying flat out of the sun & away from heat.

I don't trust my Spanish in writing the laundering instructions, so I'll copy the Spanish instructions from a label of locally available wool yarn.

Wayne, Isla is one of my/our favorite places to unwind and relax. Will have to look you up when we head that way. I've knitted lots of times sitting under a palm near Buho's.

Thanks for initiating this very worthwhile project. It will help many.


Islagringo said...

BJ: Great idea. Although I don't think many people will be using natural fibers. Most of us will be using synthetics and cotton from our stash. I don't even know where to buy wool. Except maybe in Chiapas!

Islagringo said...

BJ: Great idea. Although I don't think many people will be using natural fibers. Most of us will be using synthetics and cotton from our stash. I don't even know where to buy wool. Except maybe in Chiapas!