Mala’s First Donation
I am so grateful and happy that things went so well with Mala’s first run of flats that we were able to start giving back. During the holidays, I went back home to El Paso, TX and used this opportunity to make Mala’s first donation.
I had heard great things about a children’s shelter named Protección Integral de Juárez , so I got in touch with the shelter’s representative and scheduled a visit. Gersan, who helps run the shelter, gave me a good idea of what we could contribute. He recommended we bring food, so I went to Central de Abastos in Juarez. This is a place where restaurateurs buy in bulk, which meant we were able to stock up on a ton of healthy food for the kids! It was really rewarding when we got to the shelter, opened up the trunk and Gersan said “All this, is for us?, Everything?”
The Shelter is Focused on Education
One of the things I loved about the shelter is they are very focused on education. They made it clear that their mission is not only to fulfill the children's basic needs, but also to provide them with musical and cultural knowledge. The children get started in music lessons as soon as they come in to the shelter.
Gersan has been able to get the children scholarships for orchestra lessons at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. Aside from going to music lessons at the university, the kids have a comprehensive lesson plan at home. In addition to helping them get into college, the shelter’s focus on music is very therapeutic for the children.
Protección Integral de Juárez is Run By a Single Family
Another amazing thing about this shelter is it’s entirely run by a family. It was definitely a surprise to be able to learn more about how the shelter was started. The family actually calls it “an accident of fate.” Originally, the family was helping people in prisons by spending time visiting them, as well as bringing them food and hygiene products.
Everything changed when one of the inmates asked the family to care for her two children that were five and seven at the time. She was very worried that no one in her own family was willing to take care of her children. They took the children in and suddenly word spread. They eventually started getting requests from people wanting to have their kids cared for by them. Fast-forward twelve years, and they now have 23 children in their love-filled shelter.I am really amazed at the efforts of this family to help these children that have had truly difficult times in their lives. As Gersan told me, “there are still many things to do and to do better, but for now we do the best we can.” They do have very limited resources and funds, so any bit of help is greatly appreciated. You can learn and see even more by visiting their Facebook page :)