Fundraiser to be held Oct 29th, Lopes Barn
Outreach programs save communities one fundraiser at a time. That’s exactly what Jennifer Barcellos has been up to since 2013, when a trip to Guatemala led her to a calling of helping Guatemalan children obtain an education and unlock a whole new future for themselves.
When Jennifer decided she wanted to better understand the Spanish language, she thought what better way than to travel abroad. Her love of the family who ran Las Palmas inspired her to want to visit their home country of Guatemala. She reached out to Global Volunteer Network (GVN) in 2013 and was sent to Maxi Mo Nivel in Antigua, a school that sends people out to volunteer, where she accepted a two-week assignment in Santa De Maria De Jesus, helping at Jardín de Amor School. Since that life changing experience, she’s carried one goal in mind: help improve the future of the students in Santa De Maria De Jesus.
“They are all farm laborers in that city. The parents are illiterate and never had a chance at an education. The adults make $4.50 a day while the children make $2.25 a day. They have large families because they are Catholic and from an indigenous culture and often aren’t able to feed everyone. They get 4 tortillas a day and some salt. [We ] provide lunch for them Monday through Friday at school…[We] ran a fundraiser to collect vitamins to offset the malnourishment and that went a long way.” (A special thank you to Los Banos High School in their efforts towards raising these funds.)
Jennifer personally raises $100,000 a year for the school. “It’s very small, but it’s something. I can’t change everybody’s lives, but I can certainly change the lives of a small community,” she said when talking about her fundraising efforts. “Every cent I raise goes directly to the school.
Additionally, “The funding allows us to provide basic hygiene for the students. They are able to brush their teeth every day. One of the first things that the preschoolers learn is how to use the bathroom, because they don’t have toilets at home. They live on dirt floors. It’s more like camping than a house,” Jennifer explained. “We are all born into what we are born into and some of us are so fortunate. They are just born into that situation, but I am going to do everything I can to help them.” Thanks to efforts from Jennifer and hundreds of other volunteers, the school has been growing and most recently expanded to include PreK – 9th grade. To learn more about the school, please visit the official website at jardindeamorschool.com.
Join Jennifer at the Ghostly Gala: wear your favorite costume
Located at the Lopes Barn
Doors open at 5:45
Dinner served at 7:00pm
Silent Auction, Live Auction, Dinner and Dancing
$75 Donation (includes a free drink)