I almost didn't continue with PJW this year. After the near disaster last year when the Mexican postal system decided that import duty had to be paid on every donation....whether store bought or hand made.....and refused to mail anything that did not have a receipt, I thought all was lost. But, as you remember, Kathy and Jaimie from Pau Mau came to the rescue and muled all of the donations to Veracruz. Bless them.
This year I fully intended to make the drive myself to hand deliver the items to John and Anita in Xico, the designated recipient community. Many things conspired against that and it just couldn't take place. After a few consultations with John and Anita, it was decided that it would be best to hand out the donations to needy and deserving individuals of my choice. Anita has already spent the PayPal donations on toys for the kids in Xico (with added funds thrown in by John and Anita, bless them too!) so there was going to be a party for the kids there anyway.
But before I get to the details of what happened here locally, I would like to thank a few people for making this dream of mine a reality. I may miss somebody and I apologise profusely if I do. Remember, my list of donors was stolen along with my computer last June.
I break out into a big smile whenever I even just think the name Jackie Conlon. This kind woman from Portland, and frequent island visitor, has so many points in her Karma bank that she could start making withdrawals anytime she wanted without touching the principle! This lady just gives and gives and gives. Not only here, but in her own community as well. The world should have more Jackies in it. So, thank you Jackie. From the bottom of my heart.
And then there are Ann and Alan Booth. Also island regulars and truly caring people.
Of equal importance are Croft Randle and Norma. I always want to switch his name around! Again, island visitors and faithful donators to PJW every year. They dig down every year and give so much to this project.
I thank all four of you most sincerely.
Also never failing to find room in their suitcases for something for the kids are Richard and Joanne Grainger. Over the years, these two delightful people have also become friends. They always find something really unique to bring down. Among the things last year were gloves with faces and string hair on each finger. Too cute. Thank you guys!
But really, the award for furthest travelled donation goes to Bill and Michelle Jones. They found room, don't ask me how, to bring down these gently used men's sweaters. Wow. I need to give them a special personal thank you.
Santa, or somebody similar to him, absolutely made me steal one of these sweaters for my own personal use! Hey, it gets freezing cold down here! One of these sweaters has helped keep me toasty as I sit at my computer in the evening. I am grateful.
I vividly recall getting the summons to go visit this lady. Kim Jones.
She, too, had found room to pack clothing and school items. Some really cute Christmas theme pencils that have been a tremendous hit to every child who has received one. Thank you, Kim.
The majority of the clothing items donated, as well as the 33 hats that I knit this year, have been given out to needy families here on Isla. Mostly to the residents of the neighborhood called Guadalapena. Some of the items have been taken to Cancun where they will be passed out by my best friend, LisaLoveLoca. Actually, they are being taken, along with the toys we were able to purchase with the cash donations, to poor villages just outside of Cancun, in the jungle.
And look, just look!, at what your donations were able to purchase!
I'm a sucker for Barbie dolls, or Barbie type dolls, since it was a Barbie doll that got this whole charity running in the first place. The ones you see pictured here were, in US money, $2.75 each. Small price to pay to give some little girl a princess to call her own.
See those giant balls? They were $1.66 each! And the trucks and car carriers and Jeeps we were able to buy. Most of them only $1.50 each. Giant earth moving machines. Plenty to keep a child's imagination flowing.
I mention the prices only to show you just how far even a $5 donation will go down here.
Next year, Project Warm Hearts is going to take a slightly different direction, with a slightly different goal. But always for the children. I will be giving you the details in February, along with a very special surprise fund raiser!
Again, thank you times one million! It is you guys, with your generous and warm hearts, that have made all of this possible for the third year in a row. I bow my head to all of you.
Merry Christmas to all of you, my faithful readers and companions throughout the year.