Monday, January 11, 2010

The Good News

We're having a cold snap. I don't want to hear any snarky comments from you NOB folks either. It is in the low 60's, windy, drizzly and Cold with a capital C! And it's happening all across Mexico, north to south.

The Mexican health minister has reported that in the past few days, 9 people have died in Mexico from cold related causes. Mostly in the northern states of Chihauhau and Durango. I have been in the mountains of Chihauhau and even in the summer it is cold at night. I can't imagine how cold it is there now.

Here on the island the Red Cross has been handing out blankets and winter coats to people. All donated by people who care. Cancun has set up special cold weather shelters, mostly for the homeless. In this area, as most areas of Mexico, we have no auxiliary heat source in our homes. It is just not needed. Short of turning on the oven, there is no way to get the chill out.

So this cold got me to thinking about the people in Veracruz that we have all helped in the past with cash donations and hats. John Calypso mentioned to me that he saw an old lady walking down the street wrapped only in a flimsy shawl. He wished that he had an extra coat to run out to her. And just recently I found out that my friend, Jane H from Wisconsin, is again collecting gently used, washable coats to bring down to the residents of the island. They are always appreciated and she puts a lot of work into collecting these items. Of course, with airline restrictions being what they are now, she can't bring as many as she used to.

I announced on Christmas Day that Project Warm Hearts was being discontinued due to problems in getting the items to Veracruz and the people who need them. After I made this announcement, Kathy and Jaimie S of Pau Mau stepped forward again and basically offered to make sure anything that got donated this year, they would make sure it gets to Xico.

So B(ob) and I got to talking about all of this recently. We decided that if people are willing to help, we should at least be able to make sure stuff gets delivered. To that end, next November, for my birthday present, we are going to take a trip to Xico and personally deliver any donated items and as many hats as I can make to the people of Xico.

So the good news....PROJECT WARM HEARTS is now active and up and running again! That makes me very happy! But this year I want to concentrate on all the people of Xico, not just the children. How can you help? It's simple. Donate. I am really interested in the following items:

Warm coats. They should be washable and only gently used. Any size, color or style.


Hats, scarves and gloves


Small toys, coloring books and crayons. Miniature cars, dinosaurs, that sort of little thing. Stocking stuffer toys and items. Collect those free pens and pencils that businesses are always giving out.

I will be collecting these things and storing them here at my house until November. If you are planning a trip to Isla in the next 10 months, please consider bringing something extra in your suitcase. If you know somebody who is coming, send along a little something with them and encourage them to bring something. Just let me know the details of your visit and I will pick the stuff up from you.

Of course, cash donations are always welcome and I am going to work hard on getting a PayPal button on this page so you can just donate right here and not have to go off to some other website to do it.

So people, let's work together and make sure that next winter nobody in Xico has to worry about being cold, having a toy for their kids or maybe even dying from hypothermia. I already know what warm hearts you have. Step forward over these next 10 months and let's show what we are really made of!


Anonymous said...

I knew you would find a way to keep WARM HEARTS beating.
Great Job!

Jackie said...

This is great news Wayne! Thank you and B for taking this extra step to allow this project to continue.
Since I now have an apartment on the island I am willing to mule stuff for folks if they won't be able to bring it themselves.I may be bringing the max baggage allowed each time and should be able to tuck a few coats, hats, etc. in as padding for some breakable items.

As to the cold I can attest to the fact that I have never been so cold on Isla in all of my visits. Yesterday we were having lunch at Alexia and Geovanny's and I was freezing. I never thought that I would say that I was freezing while on Isla. I just looked at the Cancun weather report and today's high is only going to be 63degrees. It's certainly no beach day here.

Leah Flinn said...

Wayne, I was just thinking about how cold some of my neighbors must be here in Veracruz. I cannot knit (although have always wanted to learn), but I can make some very warm fleece blankets. Perhaps these could help my neighbors and some of the folks in Xico.

Also, I am thinking that if you do not have a website or anything for Project Warm Hearts, it would get to get something set up. It would help people to read about it, donate, contribute, etc. I'd be willing to do this if you would like.

Jane said...

Great post Wayne, and I hope you collect trucks full!!!

Vacation travelers to Isla, there are residents in that area who need warm jackets as well, and your hotel maids probably know several. With no central heat, and in some cases damp dirt floors, temps like this chill a body to the bone.

Islagringo said...

Anonymous: I wish I had said that. Clever.

Jackie: I can always count on you. Thanks for adding your voice as a NOBer to how cold it is here! It was reported today (and I saw the funeral procession yesterday) that we have had one cold related death here on the island!

Leah: I have one of those fleece blankets on my bed! They are really warm. Since you are already in cold Veracruz, perhaps just donating any blankets you make to the local church to hand out would be better than sending stuff here and then me just carrying it back to Veracruz. They can use the help right now.

A website? I'll have to think about that. Tempting though.

Jane: Thanks for the heads up of how people can distribute stuff themselves. Whether it be travellers here or elsewhere in Mexico. Help is always needed. This cold snap is all over Mexico...and the USA too.

Life's a Beach! said...

That's wonderful Wayne! And so easy for us to help! I know I have a lot of gently used sweaters, coats, and warm items in my house and can find some room for them in my bag! Maybe I'll have to give myself a birthday present and come down before November!

Nancy said...

That is so great! And it will also give you a chance to meet John and Anita, right? And the people of that lovely town!

Great news!

Anonymous said...

We always carried a luggage full of clothes, etc. that we distributed to the service people at the condo we stay, light sweat shirts,long pants,toys for little kids. Unfortunately now the airlines have restricted to only one checked baggage free. I just found this out. I have to call the airlines back to check charges for the extra piece of luggage. But, $15 0r 20 for an extra piece of luggage would still be a fair price to get some help to the less fortunate. I am so happy that the service people at the condo have these items NOW to help them through this unusal weather.

Wayne, thank you for your "warm heart" I hope it keeps beating and beating !

KfromMichigan said...

Count me in Wayne. I'll bring what I can in Oct. And I'll start making hats and scarves now. I've been wanting to clean out my drawers of sweaters I no longer wear. You are such a great caring person!

- Mexican Trailrunner said...


You gave me an idea for my community here in the central highlands, I will be able to implement it by this weekend. I will dub it Project Warm Hearts after you and your endeavors.

Thank you!

Islagringo said...

LAB: thank you in advance. And you know that you are always welcome on the island anytime you want to visit.

Nancy: I have been to Xico but before I knew about blogs. I am looking forward to meeting the amazing John and Anita in person.

Anonymous: It sounds like you had a warm heart long before I came up with the idea! I like your spirit and reasoning.

K: Thanks for the help. Cleaning out your sweater drawer is an excellent idea. Plus you get room to buy some new ones!

MexTrailrunner: I applaud your inititive and am thrilled that you are going to do something to help your community. However, I would appreciate your coming up with your own name for your project. While honored beyond belief, I would not want people to get confused about the two projects.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Good point, I will change the name.

Anonymous said...

Today's post brought tears to my eyes, Wayne... This is wonderful news!

I'll make sure to bring down a suitcase full JUST for your project!


lisa said...

Its called global warming!

Islagringo said...

Mextrailrunner: thank you

Linda: I can see I am going to have to clear out a lot of storage space in the spare bedroom!

Lisa: Can you believe that there are still people out there who do not believe global warming exists!

Calypso said...

Wayne - Of course GREAT NEWS amigo. All your help has been such a blessing here.

We were just in a tienda in the Hood where a young girl came in and I recognized her hat as one of yours - a good feeling.

We are warmer tonight from your news - it is cold up here - didn't get to 50F (10 C) yesterday at all.

Thank you so much!

John & Anita

Andrea Healey said...

Yay Wayne! Thank you so much (B too) for making this possible. I am hoping to get down in May and will certainly make some space for a few things!

If half the world's people had half your heart and generosity this would be a better place for everyone. Thank you!

Mary said...


Anonymous said...

All of the right words have already been said, so, THANKS for restoring the WH program and for inspiring many to be a part of it.

This "giving" is a "gift" to us in return.

Please add: "long johns" or thermal underwear, "ear muffs", ski type headbands (for under hats) and balaclavas to your list.

KNITTERS: There are free online patterns for "helmet liners" (being made for US troops in the Middle East). They too would be very useful.

My needles continue to click.

BJ in Xico

heatherinparadise said...

If I have a car then, can I make the trip with you and help haul items and keep you company?

I love you, by the way. xoxo

Linda Dorton said...

Woops. I should think before I speak. I found it! GREAT NEWS! Who knows what is in store for us and for them NEXT WINTER??? This one is a doozy!

Croft said...

Glad to hear the program will continue, it was too good a thing to end. Thanks to ALL of you for the hard work.

We will be on Isla sometime in the next two or three weeks and hope to catch up to you.