Hello Everyone, and Happy 2016 New Year!
We hope you had a wonderful, healthy holiday season full of love and laughter!
Thanks to you, Hearts of Gold ended 2015 with fun and friends at our various Christmas programs throughout the month of December. The annual Christmas Gala FUN-raiser held on December 4th was such a great event and a remarkable night of fun. Many of you have shared your stories and photos with us and we’re so happy you had such a memorable evening!
At the Gala you helped raised an impressive $17,000, and although we did not reach our initial goal and were unable to purchase refrigerators for the Mikhuna Food Bank, we are very grateful for such an amazing and incredible show of generosity from our Hearts of Gold community.
Thanks to your contributions, the money raised at the Christmas Gala funded the Hearts of Gold Partner Agency Program, so that our three partner organizations specialized in child services may continue to receive the support they need, and also our annual Christmas Canasta Giving program, which provided 300 candy bags and 70 fifty-pound Christmas baskets full of food staples and supplies to all the children and families involved in our programs.
This past Christmas was a great time for all our Hearts of Gold children thanks to the numerous Expats and Cuencanos that were so generously involved in this past year’s activities.
Following the Christmas Gala, 92 children from the Fundacion El Arenal received personalized, wrapped gifts and a special holiday party from the caring crew of DELTA Airlines, organized by DELTA employee Patty Aguilar, a global hero originally from Ecuador. Santa Claus also joined the El Arenal children in the Holiday festivities!
Jo Gillan, a dedicated Hearts of Gold supporter, also hosted a wonderful Christmas House Party where each guest brought a wrapped gift to donate to a child. Thanks to Jo and her guests’ compassion, each child involved in the Hearts of Gold child sponsorship program at CETAP-Lucy received a special gift for Christmas.
Eric Fraterman, a loyal, long-time volunteer of Hearts of Gold and CETAP-Lucy, connected our Foundation and partner programs with a group of caring Cuencanos interested in giving back. Thanks to Eric and the efforts of these Cuencano leaders, CETAP-Lucy received additional support and gifts for the families and children involved in their program, and Juan Estrella, a renowned Cuencano magician, stole the hearts of the children and parents attending the Christmas Program with his lively show.
On Friday Dec. 18th, NOVA Inclusion School for special needs and normal needs children also hosted their Christmas Program at the La Casa de la Municipalidad. They presented a Rock Christmas Concert to thank the Expat residents and local Cuencanos that supported the school through Hearts of Gold. Two tablets and a Tupperware set provided by Hearts of Gold’s Christmas Gala Funds were also auctioned off at the Christmas Rock program to serve as a mini-fundraiser to raise money for classroom supplies.
And on Sunday, December 20th, local business leader Ana Idrovo from Cickla Tatoo and a group of generous Cuencano givers joined the El Arenal Christmas Canasta Giving program to pass out their own gifts and treats, and to organize a great day in the park full of fun, games and relay races that all the kids enjoyed.
This past Holiday season was remarkably memorable for all our children and partners, and we have you to thank for creating such an inspiring end to 2015. Last month, we also had equal involvement from expats and Cuencanos in our Christmas programs and it truly raised the bar for our expectations going forward. In the New Year we hope to continue this joint community involvement, and look forward to counting on your faithful support in 2016.
Thank you so much for making 2015 a wonderful year of giving, and for creating such a memorable Holiday Season for all the children and parents involved in Hearts of Gold programs. To see photos of our active Christmas season and to keep updated on these types of activities, be sure to follow us on Facebook, or join our mailing list today!
We wish you all the best in this 2016 New Year and look forward to connecting with you in the year ahead!
From our heart to yours,
Johanna Vaca Program Director