Let’s Spread our Love During the Holidays.
We’ve all given to our favorite charities at one time or another. Some support causes monetarily while other’s give their time. I never thought I’d take away more than I gave.
Vida Joven is an orphanage in Tijuana Mexico. Most of the children came from the streets, broken and abused. Others were abandoned. All had one thing in common, they needed love and a safe shelter.
On my first trip to Vida Joven in the spring of 2019, our group was greeted by children who were bright, happy and wanting to share with us. We spent time with them drawing pictures, playing with play dough, helping them study, or just holding tiny hands while we sat in the sun together.
Beth Beall, Executive Director of Vida Joven, made it seamless for us to spend another day with ten of the older girls. Our goal for the day: shopping for school clothes.
Our adventure began with Lunch at a Brazilian restaurant where we watched the girls interact with the waiters and people nearby. If we got stuck trying to speak our meager Spanish, the children were there to help out. Our table was alive with chatter in Spanish, English, hand pointing and gestures.
After lunch, our van took us to a nearby shopping center where we split into groups. Each girl was given a budget and was responsible for keeping track of her expenses. Ester, a child of a drug addicted mother was kept home from school and repeatedly beaten and abused before coming to Vida Joven. She scouted out the various departments that best suited her age group, and fell in love with a pair of boots. Ester managed to build an entire outfit around her new shoes while not exceeding her limit.
Eighteen-year-old Verania, is the oldest girl at Vida Joven. Rescued from the streets of Tijuana at seven years old, she was battered and suffered from malnutrition. Her arm had been broken and never set, leaving her impaired for life. Verania methodically went through racks of clothing trying to find what appealed to her the most. At the end of the day, she selected one item far below her allotted budget and unselfishly donated her remaining funds to the younger girls.
Darkness pushed the sun aside but our spirits shined as we crossed the border and headed for home. We all agreed it was a day filled with surprises, laughter and hugs. Young girls who came from a life of pain and suffering gave each of us a present. They showed us how despite what you may have endured and how brutal life can be, love is the gift that ties us all together. With just a little kindness broken hearts can flourish and bodies can mend. The children of Vida Joven are proof.
During the months of November and December proceeds from Twoee’s Howlin’ Good Ice Cream will be donated to the Children of Vida Joven.
If you’d like to donate to the children of Vida Joven, and receive a tax deduction please make your checks payable to St. James by the Sea. Please write Ice Cream in the memo line.
Your donation will be greatly appreciated. I you wish to order ice cream, please click on Twoee's Howlin' Good Ice Cream Order Department to see what's in the Freezer today!