We took the money that people had donated with us to Nicaragua. Once there, my ex-mother-in-law helped us find a place where we could purchase food at great prices, and then she helped us pack it.
We packed rice, beans, sugar, soap, powered milk, tooth brushes, tooth paste, little cards with quotes from the bible, and a nice big bag of sweets into the recyclable bags we had bought in Target. My husband and I then went to rent a vehicle. It had been raining and the (dirt) roads were horrible so we really needed a good truck. After we spoke to the owner of the rental place in Nicaragua (who is a childhood friend of mine) and told him what we were doing, he gave us the truck AT NO COST because he said it was for a good cause. Thank you Lord, for Kelvin. It was still pouring rain so we decided we couldn’t wait for the rain to stop. We had to do it now or never. So we packed and got into the truck--my boys, my husband, and my ex-in-laws and we went on our way.
A few days before we did this, someone mentioned a very poor area near a garbage dump and that there were people living around it. So we went there first and we did find a few houses but not much. We gave them a bag per household and then continued on to where I visited last year. As we were turning the truck around to be on our way, a huge dump truck pulled over and one of the men on it asked if he could have a bag. I turned and said NO, but he wasn’t happy with my answer and gave me a LOOK. The other men in the vehicle started to slow down (now let me remind you we were in the hills where it is pretty deserted) and they were just looking at us to see what we were doing. I asked my husband to slow down so he came to stop and we waited for them to leave. It was our first scare as there were 6 men altogether in the dump truck.
After they left we continued, and finally we were there. It doesn’t take long for this kind of information to circulate, so not ten minutes into our distributing the bags, people started to come out and when I mean people I mean lots of people. It started to get a little crazy. It was still raining and my family was in the car. This was the first time I have ever taken anyone with me to do this besides my friend Daniela, and I have never been afraid until this time. I yelled out to everyone IF YOU ARE NOT STANDING OUTSIDE YOUR HOME YOU WILL NOT GET ANYTHING and the women cooperated and went to their houses to wait for us with no problem. We were almost done-- it only took about 30 minutes—and then the scariest part happened. A man holding a machete approached the truck and asked for a bag. I knew that if he put his hand out and snatched a bag it would be all over—everyone else would run and snatch one too. I looked and him and said very sternly “This is not for you.” I walked right up to him and stood there so he could see I was not afraid of him, and his entire attitude changed. The rest went fine. But I was upset when it was over because I have never had to that before; I could usually talk to people and listen to what their problems and needs were, but I guess things don’t always work the way you want them to. Next year I will be better prepared and will plan better.
Good people helped us with our charity work and I am just overwhelmed. I want to thank all of you who donated without hesitation:
- The employees at Blake Electric thank you so much for your donations and putting up with me.
- The Art of Beautiful and my friend Eva who donated two baskets and raffled them, with all proceeds going to these kids. Also thank you to Eva’s clients.
-The Lagos Family for their time and hard work to pack and distribute, Kelvin Hermida Gonzales the owner of Simos Car rental for donated his truck for the day.
-My husband for understanding, support me and helping me follow my dream, and to some of his friends from church, to my kids who helped me pack and distribute and supported me, and to all my friends that advised me and supported me. God bless you and your family.
Thank you so much.
Mayella Haslam Valencia and Jesse Valencia