The start of a new school year tends to bring added levels of financial stress for our families. Our children are required to have uniforms and black, close-toed shoes along with what most would think of as the “usual” school supplies of pencils, erasers, notebooks and crayons. In the past some didn’t go to school for the first few months until the necessary funds could be scraped together.
For the last few years we have been giving school supplies, socks and underwear to those who have successfully completed our summer programming with good attendance and no significant behavioral issues. An appropriate reward for the children AND a great help to the families!
Have you ever tried to buy/collect school supplies for 180? I’m always questioned at the store when I purchase the mascotas o cuadernos. (notebooks). The store help is always certain that I’m not saying the quantity correctly. “Are you SURE you want 720?” Or those years where we have more money, “Are you SURE you want 900?”
Two churches in Massachusetts heard about our students’ needs for black shoes and began collecting new or gently used shoes for us. There is always great excitement in the air as we open the boxes and begin setting up a shoe store for our campers. Each pair of shoes costs the villagers 50 Dominican pesos, the equivalent of a little over one US dollar.
The squeals of excitement when the right pair of shoes was found came not only from the children. Some of our mothers screamed and jumped up and down as well. “ALL five of my children have school supplies and shoes! ALL five!”
These incredible days, one for the girls and one for the boys, were brought to Cercadillo by:
Southcoast Community Church and Church in the Pines – shoes
Gateway Community Church, Valley E-Free Church. Peaksville Christian Church, and Eason Elementary (Jessica Terpstra’s school) – school supplies and underwear
Thousands of blessings and thanks for helping in such a practical way!