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We are excited to announce our 6th 2022 Fall Grant Recipient!

Thanks to our generous Legacy Giving Circle donor community, Misión de Caridad is receiving a $5,579.50 grant towards their Casa Esperanza Program Development!

Initiative Description: Misión de Caridad empowers women and children on the Mexico side of the U.S. border to rebuild their lives, free of violence, persecution, and extreme poverty. Currently, MdC serves refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) about 75 families (~240 people), limited only by current space/budget constraints.

In addition to addressing issues of systemic poverty in Mexico, MdC is an alternative solution for refugees looking to immigrate to the United States. The US-Mexico border attracts many who seek refuge/a better life in the United States, yet for the vast majority, it’s not an option. There are many solutions focused on either keeping foreigners out or helping them attain legal status. MdC offers a viable alternative to families who feel the need to send their children to the US alone, risk their lives or enter undocumented.

MdC serves the same families on a daily/weekly basis providing opportunities and tools that address the different aspects of poverty that families face (economic, education, health, community, emotional, etc.) to move them toward developing financial independence, achieve their educational goals, maintain physical and mental health, and live with dignity. MdC’s main focus is long-term empowerment programs that will enable families to end cycles of poverty. Rather than merely giving out aid that creates dependency, MdC provides opportunities for families to improve their situations. To do this, we focus on teaching skills that enable people to transform their lives. We empower people to live self-sufficiently and thrive as families.

Over the next 2-years, as funds are raised, MdC is building a 1.7 million dollar facility, Casa Esperanza, built to pass government inspection as a school so MdC will be able to deliver all of our programs in one place and provide government certification for education and work programs. Phase one, $490,000 will be completed by mid-November 2022. The space will change lives through women’s work certificates, class credits, and diplomas at all education levels. Most importantly, it will be a place that conveys hope, welcomes all, and treats people with dignity.

The education of adults and children and nutritious food are critical aspects for families to thrive in the current and future generations.

We are seeking a grant to expand our education program, develop a preschool program and build a temporary kitchen in Casa Esperanza until we can secure funds for a permanent one.

Initiative Impact: Public schools are not accessible in the community that we serve for multiple reasons:

  1. Schools are too far and families lack transportation (it’s not safe for children to walk alone)
  2. Students must provide an extensive list of materials and supplies that families can’t afford.
  3. Many lack the necessary paperwork and the understanding of what is needed due to parental illiteracy.
  4. Children are often forced to work in place of school.
  5. Children are too far behind and schools won’t accept them.
  6. Many of the closest schools are full.

For every child in our education program (40 students), we will create a personalized plan to ensure students are educated. As needed, we will systematically work through the six barriers above for each child. A successful outcome will be every child enrolled and attending school while receiving supplemental learning and tutoring in our programs or students attending MdC’s education program for unschooled children and receiving a certificate for each grade completed until they can enter the public school system. Additionally, MdC is launching a preschool program to provide the necessary building blocks for future success and to develop a student’s love for learning.

Nutrition is a cornerstone of MdC’s programs, as success in school and life is dependent on proper nutrition. We serve two meals every weekday to children in our education program and a community lunch on Saturdays. In 2022, we have served over 3,500 meals in our education program and over 2,500 meals Saturday. We also distribute 1-1.5 weeks of healthy groceries to families each month and so far in 2022 we have distributed enough groceries to make over 40,000 healthy meals.

In Casa Esperanza, our phase one budget did not allow us to build a much-needed kitchen to prepare food and teach healthy cooking. Funding for a temporary kitchen will allow us to serve over 10,000 healthy meals to women and children in this next calendar year, allow us to provide cooking and nutrition classes to teach families how and why to cook healthy meals. And, also allow us to store food for families that lack electricity and refrigeration. Providing a full meal is essential to the calorie intake and nutrition for the children we serve. Since we have been feeding families, we can see the children look healthier, they are better able to focus in our programs, and have more energy. In the future, we hope to provide benchmarking blood tests.

Initiative Sustainability: Lasting multi-generational change will take decades. Funds provided by Legacy Collective are designed to help MdC launch or expand new programs for this year. It allows us to go deeper and provide more comprehensive services. The funding is essential to help us reach our goal. We are committed to running programs that are sustainable. Each year we create and track against a budget that allows us to know what we are able to achieve and plan for the current and future. We analyze our financials monthly to ensure we are on track.

At the same time, we have a committed base of donors that we continue to expand, however, we have many initiatives that we fund including our women’s work program, education programs for women, health programs for children, clean water distribution, 2x per year medical fairs, women’s support groups, regular home visits and the continued construction of Casa Esperanza.

All of the information we learn about families is tracked in our database. Demographic information such as income, the condition of their housing, whether they have electricity, transportation, education level, place of birth and more. We track health records including medical, dental and vision indicators. We use the information to develop programs. We also track attendance for each family member at every single event and use that information to determine if a family is committed to improvement through our empowerment programs and use it to drive conversations, where necessary, on the barriers families are facing that interfere with reaching their goals.

Attendance at events and the choices families are making show that people are taking their first steps towards self-sufficiency and are determined to improve their lives. Our ultimate vision is to see a community transformed with households earning a living wage, homes that are sturdy and safe, families physically and emotionally healthy, children graduating high school and attending college, adults learning to read and write, and community members working together to make this a reality.