It's hard to believe how fast the year has past! And what a year it has been. For me, it has been a triumph as it has been my first year leading this wonderful organization. I am incredibly proud of the work that we do and the impact that we have on the lives of children we care for and their families. I am proud of our amazing staff and their dedication to our cause. Of our volunteers who come from around the world to give their hard work, time and love. And of course I am so very proud of our kids and how they learn and grow!
There are lots of exciting things to share with you! To start, have our new website up and running for you to check out! We are incredibly pleased with the new look and feel of the site and we think that you will find it much easier to navigate and access! Please check it out and let us know what you think! We look forward to your feedback. A big thanks to Brent Van Home for his hard work and dedication in making the new site a reality!
At the beginning of the month, we were very proud to see our kindergarten and grade six classes successfully graduate! We had 13 graduates in our grade six class and we are happy to report that 4 of them have received scholarships to continue their studies and the other 9 have arranged to continue their studies at local high schools in Fronteras thanks to their parents. It won't be easy, but all of them are incredibly driven and focused. We were happy to see our sixth graders enjoying a trip to Tikal as a reward for all their hard work throughout the year. Not only did they all do a great job in their classes, but they also took charge of the school shop to sell snacks during recess where they learned the important aspects of running a business.
Our Prekinder class saw 23 graduates moving on to the first grade where they will begin a new level of learning!
We are now finished with our school year and are well into our summer school program. Slowly but surely Christmas is sneaking up on us and we are rushing to prepare and make sure we are able to cover all of our costs! We need all the help we can get, not only to ensure that we will have the funds to make it through the end of the year, but to take us into 2016 and ensure that it is our most successful year yet.
We rely on you and your help, no matter how big or small, to make an impact on the lives of the children who depend on us. We hope that you will join us in the season of giving and contribute to our cause. Keep reading for all the great ways that you can be involved!
The season of giving is here
And you can help out!
Here we are in the midst of our big year end campaign! For those of you who follow us on social media, you will know that we have been working extremely hard to raise our year end goal of $80,000 and I am proud to say that we are over 60% of the way there having raised over $50,000 so far! We couldn't have done this without all of our monthly donors as well as our many donors and fundraisers who have been sending in their donations via our Crowdrise Campaign, our CanadaHelps page, and of our our new and improved website!
We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go to meet and exceed our goal. If you haven't donated yet, we hope that you will consider making a contribution to our cause in the coming weeks. We are so overwhelmed with the love and support we get from our donors and the children are always incredibly grateful for all the help we receive. They know that we rely on their friends from afar who make their dreams come true year after year. There are many ways you can help and every donation really does go a long way!
We have a few honourable mentions of people who have gone out of their way to celebrate their special occasions by fundraising on our behalf. There were Alex and Seraina in Switzerland who asked for donations in lieu of wedding presents; Sinikka from Finland who collected donations for her birthday, and Juano and Ana who also collected donations at their wedding in Spain. But of course we can't forget our littlest fundraisers, Raquel and Genève who threw a Halloween party and raised $250!
We should also mention our past volunteer Jimmy Aoun, who actually made his own fundraising campaign on Crowdrise and raised over $1000 by swimming 1 km through torrential winds & rain as part of the greater AdNews Challenge in Sydney Australia. It is great to see when our volunteers become our ambassadors once they get back home! We are always looking for people to help us in our fundraising endeavours. Whether it be a bake sale or a gala dinner; a run or a rock show, everyone can find a way to help! Sign up to be a fundraiser with us today!
Lots of ways to help
With Amazon Smile and iGive
Since it is the season of shopping as well as giving, remember that you can make an impact every time you make a purchase online! First off, you can use Amazon Smile for all of your Amazon purchases and this will mean that we will get a small percentage from everything you buy! But you can also increase your impact by using iGive.com, which allows you to shop at over 1400 stores online and helping our cause with every purchase! Click on the images below to sign up to help us while you shop! This is that time of year after all, so why not make both Cyber Monday AND Giving Tuesday help Casa Guatemala!
Making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice
As I mentioned, we are into our preparations for Christmas here at Casa Guatemala! It is a magical occasion and a long running tradition! This year as we did last year, we will be hosting our Christmas pageant at the end of our Summer School program for anyone who is in the area! It will be held on the 21st of December during the day and the children will be performing songs and we will be having lunch with Santa. This is a great addition to our program as many kids live too far away to join us on Christmas eve and have never experienced a real Casa Guatemala Christmas! We will have a nice lunch and word is there will be a bit of a play. Think Nativity starring the Avengers! As part of our creative arts program, the kids are coming up with the script themselves! We'll be sure to share and anyone in the area is invited to join us!
We will need lots of help with making Christmas magical for all of the children and as always, we are expecting a big turn out on the night of the 24th. We should have about 400 kids with us to meet Santa and get a lovely present and meal! There will be turkey and tamales, toys and trees, and decorations and lights that we will need to purchase or have donated so if you can help, please let us know when making your donation that you would like to designate to the Christmas fund! We are grateful for all our donors near and far who make an effort to make it such a magical occasion! We will be sure to keep you posted as we get closer to the big day!
Thanks again for all of your help. We are eternally grateful for your support and couldn't do this without you!
Thanks from all of us,