Words cannot describe the feeling that today has brought with it.
I have tried on a few occasions today and each word does not do it justice. To watch a project go from nearly broken to thriving in the space of 24 hours is just incredible.
The staff and volunteers of Colombia Sin Fronteras are among some of the most inspiring, youthful, compassionate people I have ever met. Day, week and month after month they bring hope to some of the most impoverished children on the planet. Their energy and desire to teach children in a remote part of northern Colombia, on their own dime and while not getting paid shames most individuals who believe they are owed something.
The area is dire. It is covered in trash, is inaccessible by any vehicle other than a motorbike and is wholly ignored by the region and government—including the wealthy suburb a mile away. We saw yesterday what they do, and how they do it, on next to no resources. We decided to run a 24 hour campaign in honor of their hardwork and for the kids who deserve a chance in life.
After you donated so kindly you also blew our wildest expectations out of the water. $2548.57 is going to take this school to another level. Some days they have 20 kids, others 60, the sporadic attendance a consequence of being under resourced. We met director Miles and long term volunteer Bridgette at a coffee shop to deliver the news we had raised over $2500. Heads in hands, swear words, hugs of thanks were all in attendance as that money will change these kids lives.
We headed to the local store to pick up the basics, pencils, paper, pens, notebooks, sharpeners, erasers, white boards, markers, paint, paint brushes. I could go on but you get the picture. Basic resources every child needs to learn. We may have thrown in some little toys to act as prizes for good attendance and behavior. And therein lies the point. If you come to school and don’t have a pen or paper to write with, these kids can become dis-interested. Now they own their books and pens where they can track progress and have a sense of belonging. The anticipation is that attendance alone will increase as a result of your donations.
The joy on their faces and we presented them with their new utensils will stay with us forever. The staff and volunteers were astounded at your generosity. Bridgette had no sense of doubt as she professed this was one of the best days of her life. Well ours too, to be able to give hope to these kids and the resource to Colombia San Fronteros to do what they do best made it one of the most humbling days in all of our lives. This was all due to your kindness.
The most amazing thing about all this, the purchases today will sustain them for over a year, and we only used one third of the money. The important task now is to best utilize the remaining money in order to sustain this phenomenal organization for years to come.
So it was party time, someone ramped up the music and I even danced. My spider-bite infected/swollen ankle is no longer a cankle but a thighkle.
The volunteers and directors are making us dinner tonight, to say thank you. But we should be thanking them. What they do is inspiring, and a lesson to us all.
As for you, your donations have changed lives. We will keep you up to date with the progress of Colombia Sin Fronteros, and update you on the rest of the spending (which will be thoroughly documented via Digital Hope).
Digital Hope wants to continue to show you where your money goes. We hope your donations and generosity continue to blow our minds.
Jock and the Digital Hope Team