Friday, August 8, 2014

highlight // fundraiser event for the danli cdi

On July 1st, there was a fundraiser event held in Covington, VA to benefit the GCLA Children's Development Center (CDI) that we work with here in Danli. People from Jamey's home church, Faith Baptist Church, and other churches in the area all helped to make this event possible. We were so fortunate to be able to be in attendance at the event to witness all of the people who came out to support us and this ministry! We had roughly 120+ people in attendance. With so many people filling one event space, we had to turn the dessert table into overflow seating! (Which is not a bad problem to have!). There was a spaghetti dinner, which included awesome salad, bread, desserts, and refreshments as well. 

We just wanted to say again, a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make the event happen, to all who came out, to all who donated additional funds, to all who brought school supplies to donate, and to all who sponsored kids at this event! We were so happily overwhelmed by it all. In just one night, we received:

  • 9 new sponsors for new children to start coming to attend the CDI,
  • Monetary donations to the CDI that totaled around $1800, and
  • Enormous amounts of much needed school and craft supplies for our students (Like 2500 crayons!)

Some might ask, how will these things specifically aid the Children's Development Center in Danli? First, adding new students to the CDI does not only allow us to help and feed more children, but increasing our number of students will hopefully help us split up our after school Bible and English classes into separate age-specific classes. We are also excited for our current students to have even more kids to play with. Since the children in our program attend public schools, they only go to school for 4.5 hours a day, which leaves little time for playing or recess. Our recess time is some of the only "fun time" that our students get with other kids! 

With the donations that were so graciously given, our hope is to complete the floor in the kitchen and the upstairs classroom (our future computer classroom) with tiling. Most finished floors in Honduras are tile, but right now these two rooms have only rough concrete. Not only have there been lots of falls and skin scrapes on this rough floor, but in the kitchen especially is hard to fully clean We are so excited for a new kitchen floor that can be swept AND mopped! Also with the donations, we hope to buy new tables for the classrooms. There is also one very old wooden table that was given to us, but the top finish has been torn off and there are tiny bugs that we can't seem to keep out. As we increase our numbers, we are going to need more tables!

The very first craft project that the CDI students completed with their new supplies
were Bible bookmarks to give as gifts to the mission team that came to visit and play with them. 
And with the school and craft supplies, the possibilities are endless for how much these things will change the lives of our wonderful students. First, some of the school supplies are now being used for our Bible and English classes, but about half have been tucked away in order to make school supply packets for our students when they start their new school year in February. This is an incredible help to the families, because most of them don't have the money to buy most or all of the supplies for their kids. Students in Honduras also have to wear uniforms, so hopefully by providing their school supplies, buying a new properly fitting uniform might be a little easier for some families.

Also, why do we do crafts? Well, arts and crafts are great visual examples of class lessons for children, but to these children, it's more than simply that. Almost all of these kids do not receive any art classes in their schools, and we've been able to see what effect that has on them. They have never been encouraged to be creative, or create something that is their very own. They often ask Lesley "What color am I supposed to color the girl's shoes in the picture? What color is right?". And though she encourages them to choose whatever color they think would look great, they can't. They're frozen. We love that by having the capacity to occasionally do crafts with our students, even with simple items such construction paper, crayons, scissors, and glue, we are able to open up their minds just a little bit more. And let them be kids and grow.

Last, but not least, here is the quick video that we showed at the event that we'd like to share with everyone now. (Please excuse any glitches in the video, we need better editing software!). These are the sweet children you've helped with your generosity!

There are still some kids on our waiting list to attend the CDI.  If anyone is interested in child sponsorship at the Danli CDI, please contact us (Jamey and Lesley Smith) personally and we'd be happy to give you more information and help you set up the process or you can visit the GCLA website.

Also, to be kept updated on what's going on at the Danli CDI, visit the Facebook Page.

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