Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - As summer winds down here in the Banderas Bay area, we have seen many changes at the Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza (R.I.S.E.)
It is with a heavy heart that we announce that our beloved founder and director, Madre Mari, passed away on August 15, 2020. A mass was held for her the following day at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Madre Mari contracted pneumonia and was unable to fight it. We are very saddened by her departure.
In her 20 years at R.I.S.E., she touched countless people's lives and provided love food, shelter, clothing and education to hundreds of children in need. It has been a difficult time for all of those whose lives she touched, so we ask all of you for prayers of peace and comfort in the coming weeks. We will continue to work at keeping the Spirit of RISE Alive, honoring Madre Mari's lifelong mission of helping children in need.
Unfortunately, with the passing of Madre Mari, Madre Leti made the decision to return to her nun community in Monterrey. Madre Leti provided many years of service to R.I.S.E. and was always greeting each visitor with a smile. She will be greatly missed by all!
You may be asking yourself, who is in charge now? Professor Jorge has been appointed Director. As you can imagine there is a lot of work to be done to fill the shoes of these two beautiful and dedicated women. Professor Jorge will work closely with Father Luis and DIF (National System for Integral Family Development) as we continue to build and develop our R.I.S.E. team.
Back to School
Whoever said 'children are resilient' must have met the children at R.I.S.E. As if all of the changes above were not enough for the kids to deal with, they went back to school this week. Yes they did! They are distance learning and with the support of Professor and his team of nannies and educators, things seem to be off to a good start.
We are looking to bring a professional teacher or two onboard to ensure the highest levels of education are provided while the children are distance learning. I am sure you many of you have experienced your own children or grandchildren struggling with the remote learning - imagine that times 25!
AND we are in need of computers (approximately $350 per computer). We have 27 children and they are sharing 5 computers. Please help us provide the children the necessary educational tools to provide them a proper education - click HERE and press the Donate button. You can even note that you want your donation to go toward education.
These are uncharted waters and we have an opportunity to continue to keep RISE on the RISE if we all work together! As you can imagine, the donations continue to drop-off as many previous RISE resources have gone to feed the PV community.
We currently have 26 children living at RISE, 20 living in the Girls and Boys dormitories, respectively, and 6 in the Cunero (Nursery). Although last month we celebrated 7 children returning to family members, we added 5 more wonderful children who were in need. Additionally, our costs have increased.
We know these are tough times for everyone, as families support their communities and relatives during COVID. Your R.I.S.E. family needs your support, too.
As COVID continues to challenge the local economy, RISE continues to provide for children in need with things that may seem 'normal' in any home. Things like education, meals, health and dental care, shampoo, bedding, clothes, shoes, and many other things that many children outside of RISE never notice as a privilege.
If you would like to join the effort to keep the Spirit of R.I.S.E. alive, please click HERE and press the Donate button - every little bit helps! Monthly donation options are also available, and preferred, if possible, as it helps with budgeting and planning. The impact of your donation on a child's life is significant, regardless of the amount. Muchas Gracias and blessings from all of us at RISE for your continued support.
The Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza is a non-profit shelter for babies and children under the age of 14. Some of these children are orphans but most come from unbearable situations having been abused, neglected, or simply abandoned. R.I.S.E. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, EIN (52)2442583. All contributions are tax deductible. More information about the children's shelter, and how you can help, can be found on their website: RisePV.com.