Friday, December 30, 2011

What YOU Helped to Accomplish this Past Year

2011 was a year full of successes! Thanks to YOU we were able to complete several different projects that benefit the children we support. Because of YOUR generosity the 3,700 children in the NPH homes throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have a loving and safe home, food, education, access to healthcare and a family that cares for them. Here are just a few highlights from the past year!

In the Family Services division, the International Leadership Institute Pilot Program was launched where five pequeños were able to begin studying English and leadership courses in Seattle, Washington.

Our Vaccine Catch Up program, part of our Medical Services division, was a huge success this year for our children in need.

At NPH Mexico we had our largest university group yet with 105 students and 18 graduates this year!

Construction on a new bakery, cheese making facility and greenhouse was completed this year at NPH Honduras to help make the home more sustainable.

Over 100 new children arrived at the St Helene and Fr. Wasson Angels of Light homes in Haiti, and the construction of a new housing complex for Don Bosco students was completed. We are also very happy to say we successfully treated  20,000 Cholera patients this year.

At NPH Nicaragua construction of a primary school, clinic, visitor house, and the National Director house was completed.

NPH Guatemala saw the construction of their Montessori school completed as well as their first solar panels installed.

El Salvador's brand new leadership group was formed this year, and we are excited to say this is one of the first groups from NPH ES that will engage in outreach with the surrounding community!

Everyone at NPH Dominican Republic is thrilled about our new speech therapy program, empowerment groups, sign language and pottery classes.

In Bolivia our family grew this year from 86 to 104 children.

In October the children and staff of NPH Peru finally moved to their brand new home in Cañete.

Everyone at the opening of the new NPH Peru home!

Thank you so very much for making 2011 a wonderful year! There is always more work to be done and children to support, and we are looking forward to another successful year in 2012. Happy New Year! Thank you for being a Friend!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 was a Wonderful Year!!!

This past year has been a truly great one for everyone at Friends of the Orphans and the children we support. Thanks to the hard work of Friends' staff, volunteers and supporters, there have been many wonderful things to highlight throughout the regions this year.

NPH Peru

As many of you know, in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Region, Friends opened a brand new regional office just outside of Boston. Our MANE office officially opened its doors in June 2011, and we have been busy meeting with both new and familiar faces in the community. We've succeeded in creating a successful Regional Board with 10 active members including board chair, Dr. Brian Orr. Our 2nd Annual Irish Hearts for Haiti event held in April was (again) a great success raising $38,000. We also held an exciting Donor Appreciation Event at the historic Fenway Park in July. Likewise, our Faces of Hope events in November went splendidly and had nearly 150 attendees! We were so fortunate this year to welcome Elzer, a pequeño from NPH Honduras, who stayed from May until August. He participated in events, spoke at various churches, schools, and civic functions, and was able to work on perfecting his English while interning at a local elementary school. Our gratitude goes out to the Henry family for hosting Elzer!

NPH Dominican Republic

Our Northwest Region has had much to be proud of in 2011 including a group of interns who have been invaluable this year! Our two Development Interns planned a very successful Family Summer BBQ event with a great turnout, and our Salesforce Intern has been there giving us weekly database support. We also hosted another amazing trip to NPH Honduras (our 8th annual!) We made so many great new Friends, not only bringing in two new tables of people to our Gala (and all our desserts being donated), but also a new mission trip in collaboration with a Montessori school in the Midwest region. Our outreach in Portland, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington, keeps gaining momentum with Faces of Hope Portland being our biggest yet, and we had many new attendees in Spokane. Our open house FUNdraisers in Portland, Spokane and Boise, Idaho were also great times for everyone involved. In Seattle we had a very special event with Jean François Seide, pequeño and member of the newly launched NPH Leadership Program, along with Fr. Rick Frechette of NPFS Haiti allowed us to raise over $62,000 for our programs in Haiti!

NPH El Salvador

Down in the Southeast Region 2011 has been a truly blessed year. In April we moved in to our new office with a view of downtown Miami, the financial district, the water and the new Miami Marlins stadium. Our 5th Annual Faces of Hope Luncheon and our 2nd Annual All the World to One Child Gala were both generously sponsored by great Friend, Chevron. Over 300 guests were in attendance for the luncheon, and this “friendraising” event, featuring special guest Clara Grove, a former pequeña from NPH Mexico, raised more than $45,000! Our gala, which was held at Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami, had over 200 guests in attendance and raised over $50,000. We also had a particularly special accomplishment this year that directly affected 3 of our children at NPH Honduras. Thanks to the great connections and efforts of one of our board members, Aid for Aids continuous to donate ARV’s medications for these 3 children to keep them healthy and provide a HUGE savings for our home (about 30k a year). We've also been lucky enough to have wonderful volunteers this year such as Danixa Lopez who has not only helped with several translations, but has been instrumental in our branding and outreach to the Hispanic community. Finally, our total in kind donations this year added up to over $5.5 million, helping provide for countless individuals in need in mainly Haiti and Honduras. Similarly, in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, our partnership with FedEx helped to provide over 15,000 books for the children we support.

NPH Guatemala

In the Upper Midwest Region we celebrated our 25th anniversary this year, and what a year it was! We welcomed over 230 new child sponsors to our family of nearly 2,000 total Upper Midwest child sponsors. Over $400,000 was raised through various events at churches as well as our annual Gala, run/walk and triathlon events. We also held our first ever fundraising event in Iowa, which brought in over $30,000. We had great volunteer involvement this year with a total contribution of over 2,000 hours. We also welcomed two new staff members, Sara Joyce and Sue Lovegreen, who have been wonderful additions to our team. Our team has had an incredible year celebrating welcoming a baby, a marriage and an engagement! We've also been so very proud of Sean Breininger, our Regional Director, who had his “second birthday” through a bone marrow transplant this December, praying that 2012 will boast a fully successful bone marrow transplant.

NPFS Haiti

In the Midwest Region we once again conducted a very successful Gala event, raising even more funds than the year before! Gala attendees were entertained by the music and dance group from NPH Mexico, and they also heard a compelling keynote speech from Aurora Zacarias, a former pequeña from NPH Mexico. Our 2011 Pequeño Tour also went fabulously, exceeding our revenue goal. We were so happy to have the sixteen pequeños from NPH Mexico perform at various venues in Chicago and throughout Indiana, including the University of Notre Dame. We also hosted an exciting and successful donor appreciation event this year in a donated skybox at a White Sox game. For the first time in several years we conducted a donor trip out of our region. Unlike most donor trips that visit a single NPH home, this trip visited NPH homes in two different countries – Guatemala and El Salvador! Juan Manuel Pineda, a pequeño from NPH El Salvador, performed a concert for almost 500 guests in our hometown of Chicago. We've also had great support this year from Friends in our region like John Shattuck, Vice Chair of the Midwest Region Board, who arranged for six shipping containers of donated medical equipment and other supplies valued at $1.425 million to be sent to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

NPH Honduras

Last but certainly not least, in the Southwest Region we have also had a tremendous year! We have a wonderful new donor who became involved during our Pequeño Tour and continued on to attend our Gala, sponsor a child, go on a donor tour, sponsor another child, organize a FUNdraiser for February 2012 and collect clothes and games to be sent to the homes! We are so very appreciative of all that our donors do. We also had over 150 teens and adults participate on our mission trips to Guatemala and Mexico to spend a week with their 128 Godchildren that they sponsor. In addition, we collected and delivered 104 boxes of new clothes, shoes, school supplies and sports equipment. We also had some awesome events this year including both of our Power of One events in April where Eligio Villegas Cruz, a  pequeño from NPH Mexico, was our guest speaker. Eligio graduated from the University of Monterrey in Mexico this June with a degree in International Marketing. The two events raised over $40,000 and was underwritten by Wells Fargo Private Client Services. We also secured 18 child sponsorships at these events. For our annual Pequeño Tour throughout Arizona and California, we hosted the dancers and musicians from NPH El Salvador, and as of October 19th, the event netted $281,850 and secured 101 new sponsorships with an annualized income of $52,680. These children left lasting memories with their host families and the communities they visited. We also conducted our 12th Annual Diocese of Phoenix Catholic School Mass and Cultural Day with the 11 schools that are part of our school sponsorship program and support over 70 godchildren.

NPH Mexico

It has truly been an amazing year, and we are so thankful for all our Friends like you who help us to raise children and transform lives. Thank you for all your generosity and support throughout 2011, and we look forward to 2012! Happy new year!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Stories from Honduras

Fatima (11 years old) 

Fatima and her younger sister Natalie were abandoned by both parents. They lived with their grandmother who was unable to properly feed them and care for them before coming to NPH. She says that what she remembers about Christmas before coming to NPH was food; they usually cooked special tamales and received gifts of chips or candy.

Christmas is an exciting time for Fatima at NPH with the goodie bags, parties, and Christmas tree. She especially loves Secret Santa. She loves talking about whom each girl has, and the secret gift exchange with her friends of hair ties and candies.

Marisol (13 years old) 

Marisol's mother left her family when Marisol was only one year old. Her father was not able to take care of Marisol and her two brothers so he left them with other family members. Every Christmas before coming to NPH Marisol remembers going with her cousins to get new clothing. Presents (usually clothing, chips, sweets) were placed under the Christmas tree for the children the night before Christmas. The next morning everyone would wish each other “Feliz Navidad” and open presents. She remembers spending the rest of the day with neighbors and family having a fiesta; cooking, eating, and spending time together.

If she could have one wish for Christmas, Marisol said she would wish for the ability to travel. She would go and visit her “Padrinos”.

Her favorite part about Christmas at NPH is sharing it with friends, caretakers and volunteers. "I love how everyone comes together during Christmas time to have fun."
Marisol (far left) with her friends.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Stories from Guatemala

Pablo (13 years old)

My name is Pablo. I am 13 years-old. I came to NPH Guatemala just over one year ago. Before moving to NPH, I lived with my mom and four siblings. I have two older sisters and two brothers who are younger than me. Each year we celebrated Christmas with a big family gathering. Everyone was there except my father. He disappeared from our lives when I was little. My mom, my aunts, my uncles and siblings always celebrated together. 

Each year, we ate tamales (a Latin American dish made from corn, wrapped in a leaf, and steamed). Tamales are a tradition here in Guatemala. For Christmas my brothers, sisters and I would receive gifts. Each year my mom gave us a box of fireworks that we would set off the night before Christmas. This is another tradition where I live. We also received a little box filled with grapes.

After living at NPH for a year, I’m happy. I feel welcome and safe here. I am grateful to attend school each day. I am learning a lot here. I am learning to read, to write and to respect. Although NPH is my new home, I still think about my mom a lot. She visits me during Visitor’s Days when she can. If I could have any wish granted, I would invite my mom to eat pizza; that’s what I’d do. I would make our pizza. If I could have any gift for Christmas, I would give it to my mom—a beautiful blouse, or a skirt, or a pair of earrings. She deserves it.

At NPH we give homes to children in need like Pablo, where they can feel loved and secure and grow into caring and productive members of their communities. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Stories from NPH Mexico

Daniel (8 years old)

NPH Mexico offered care and support to Daniel in 2009, when his mother was incarcerated and could no longer care for him. When Daniel arrived, he worried that he could no longer continue family traditions, such as celebrating Christmas with cake, piñatas, holiday movies and games. Fortunately, Daniel can still experience these Christmas festivities, and many more, at his new home, NPH Mexico’s Casa San Salvador

Daniel now has Godparents that donate funds so that he can receive his dream Christmas presents. When Christmas comes this winter, he hopes to receive a Max Steel action figure, candy, tennis shoes or clothes. If he could have one wish granted for Christmas, he said, “I would have my mom and my entire family live at my home here at NPH because I love them so much.” We are all so happy to hear that Daniel enjoys living at Casa San Salvador so much that he would invite his entire family to live with him if he could. 

This Christmas, thanks to Friends like you, Daniel will be provided with enough sweets and toys to keep him happy all year long, and more importantly, a safe and secure home where he can enjoy his life.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Stories from NPH El Salvador

Roberto (8 years old)

I don’t have any idea how Christmas outside NPH is since I only remember that all my Christmases have been at NPH. I can’t imagine how it's going to be one day when I'm outside of NPH.

When I think of Christmas time, I imagine all the fireworks, gifts, new clothes and the posadas with all my brothers and sisters.

I can’t wait every for Christmas morning when I receive my gift from Tio. I know that I already have all that I need, but this year I hope to get a big toy car into to play with my brothers at the babies’ house.

Martiza (12 years old)

I remember Christmas before arriving at NPH, they were different in two ways. When my mother was alive we shared a humble diner with all my siblings. We didn’t get gifts, but we were happy just to be with her. After my mom died, Christmas time was very sad. My dad didn’t care for us, and the memories from my mother on Christmas time were incomparable. When my siblings and I arrived at NPH, we had a different Christmas with so many people. The posadas and dinner at the basketball court are wonderful and makes me think of my mom.

I enjoy Christmas morning because we have the opportunity to get a big present with little ones inside. I like everything, and I am very thankful because I know it's the result of the effort of so many people who care about us. If I could have something else I think that it would be an extra pair of jeans, shirt and matching jewelry the same color as my shirt!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Christmas Story from NPH Peru

Silvia, 18 years old
NPH Peru

This December makes 7 years for me living at NPH. When I was twelve my mother passed away, and I lived with my father and my two siblings. We then entered NPH, and at that time the home was situated in the north of Peru close to my father´s home in beautiful Cajamarca.

However, we lived in poverty with my Father. When Christmas arrived I used to go to church with my friends and spend the day there because that's where I felt safe. When mass finished I waited until the end because they gave me a piece of panettone, a type of sweet bread loaf, and some sandwiches. Sometimes it was the only meal that we had during the day.

NPH change my life radically. At first I missed my father and my home, but after a while I realized that we have everything at NPH. There is nothing that we lack, and we are supported and helped in every aspect of life. I can’t think of any gift I received before I came to NPH. My house was little and never decorated, and my father couldn’t afford presents for us. If I had to choose a gift I would want a t-shirt, trousers or a pair of shoes.
I like Christmas at NPH because we decorate our rooms with snowflakes. I wish I could see snow sometimes. It has to be magical.

Sometimes life beyond NPH scares me. Here life is peaceful and secure, outside it is uncertain. I fear that I won’t be able to find work. My hope for Christmas is to be able to finish high school and start university so I can have a good profession. My dream is becoming a nurse to be able to help others.