December 24, 2009
Merry Christmas everyone! Our community’s generosity made Christmas for the first 160 at the first Christmas party. This will be repeated in many poorer areas. The people there are too poor to travel to the main party. Children too sick to travel will be visited as well. God bless everyone, we are making a difference in a world, that too often seems harsh and uncaring.I will be posting pictures on facebook and hope that there will be copies up on the website soon.Following is an email received from Valerie at the project:
“The party started at 1:00. Here we talk about “island time” meaning everyone is late for every event. I have been to important meetings where the participants start two or three hours late without any expectation that it would happen on time. We were prepared for people to be late; in fact we really hadn’t planned any activities until 2:00, as that’s when we expected the first guests to arrive. At 11:30, a hour and a half early, the first guests arrived, Eric and his Mom from East End, within half an hour almost all the guests were there, early and eagerly anticipating the party. The children were dressed in their very best clothes, hair carefully braided, this was a time for celebration.This has become the highlight of the year and the most eagerly awaited event. We had teen volunteers do crafts with the kids, beaded necklaces that varied in skill level according to their ages (bought with your funds in Teguc). We then had the children play games in the yard as the parents met and had an open discussion on some of the problems of discrimination, overpriced testing and difficulty with medications they face on a daily basis. Even though this is a Christmas party it has become an important tool for everyone there to recognize they are persons living with AIDS, raising children, many whom are also living with AIDS. One of the fathers went to pick up the pre-ordered fried chicken dinners, a local treat most of our families cannot afford. The kids and adults were excited and very happy with their food, paid for by the Morgan Jayne project. French fries were gobble down with tons of ketchup; chicken savored and often wrapped up to take home for another day when there may not be any food. Soon the kids began whispering “Donde (where is) Santa?”… then came the magic moment, Santa came in all his glory, velvet suit, jingling bells, Ho, Ho Ho..ing. All the children flocked to him and at 115 children we made them sit down so Santa was not mobbed. One by one he handed out their presents, each gift specially chosen for them, paid for by people unknown to them thousands of miles away. They opened their bags, some of them so excited they actually bit through the bags, not patient enough to untie them. They and their parents went through their bags; cries of “Bonita” (beautiful) and “Gracias Santa” were so numerous I didn’t know where to turn. Remember when your kids were little and the excitement was so amazing, multiply that a hundred and fifteen!
Eric, six years old, tugged on my dress and handed me his bag. I thought at first there was a problem (did we accidentally mix him up with Erica?) but he quietly, shyly, asked me to see his toys. As I sat down and pulled out one after the other with him he exclaimed how each one was perfect. Eric has been very sick this year and he is quite frail and not a healthy looking child. His ears stick out of a too thin face and his clothes hang on him. At that moment his eyes shone at that moment and his face could not be more beautiful as he hugged me and whispered “thank you, thank you” in my ear. I looked up to see his Mom looking at me with tears in her eyes. At that moment I wished I could send you that hug as you deserved it, that joy he, and all the other children experienced was so tangible, so amazingly powerful I thought surely you must be able to feel it thousands of miles away. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, from Eric’s heart, from his mother’s heart, from Carlos, Sharika and Kristoff and all our other children. The presents were beautiful and you brought joy to so many children at Christmas. Whatever else your Christmas is this year you are blessed, as you have sent love to a child. Thank you!
Merry Christmas Everyone and God bless from myself, Kathy and Cody…you make our world turn. We love you all.
December 15, 2009
I am happy to announce that we collected over $6,700 for the Christmas Miracle!!! The first Christmas Party will be Friday December 18, followed by home deliveries starting next week. I would like on behalf of myself and family, the volunteers and the “Kids at the Project” to thank everyone for there generosity to help us make this a very, very special Christmas.
Thank you again. Merry Christmas and God Bless. Fred
December 7, 2009
We have a new plan to ensure the children of the project receive their Christmas delivery.
To get all the boxes back, then out, will preclude us from a Christmas delivery. So the new plan is to raise $4000 by the end of the week (December 11), send it to the island where they will go to the mainland and buy 400 presents.
Our boxes here will be sent out over the next few months as we raise funds. Please help…we can make this happen.
December 3, 2009
It is with regret that I post this update.
A month ago we sent out a plea for Christmas for Kids at the project. The response was overwhelming. We packed 134 boxes, over 3,300 pounds of wonderful Christmas presents for deserving, desperate kids so far away.
We were turned back from the border, because we were told, the boxes had FDA sensitive items. These items were removed by a wonderful group in St. Mary’s Ontario, reboxed and relisted. We called the shipper to pickup the boxes where we were told that we still hadn’t made the requirements to travel “In Bond” across the US to Medley Florida where it would travel free of charge. We were told that we still didn’t meet requirements and that the would not move. I contacted the Attach for Border Protection Services in Ottawa, and I was informed today that a ton of paper and research would be required, in fact every item needed a tariff number and a value for each item in the 134 boxes. Also that we needed the services of a Customs Broker to input every item into a computerized system for the Customs Department.
This is too much to expect of the great people in St Mary’s, so with sadness, the shipment must be returned to us in Alberta. The shipment will be broken down into 300 plus boxes and shipped via Canada Post, who with, we have no problems shipping. The only hitch is that each of the 300 boxes will cost upwards of $40 a box. You can see that this is a huge amount of money.
I am sending out a plea for Dollars to help us move these Christmas Presents. Only a miracle will help at this point. I am sorry if I have let anyone down, I tried so hard to make this happen.
November 20, 2009
Thank you all for your amazing generosity of 132 boxes, 3,380 pounds of Christmas goodness for the children of the Morgan Jayne Project!!! Special thank you to our christian friends in St. Marys, Ontario, who are helping make this Christmas miracle complete.
October 16, 2009
Fred (Morgan’s Dad) is in the process of organizing a truck for all the items to be shipped at once. If you would prefer to send your donation to him rather than overseas, here is his address and information:
Fred Makowecki For the Morgan Jayne Project’s Christmas Box 2498 370 – Railway Ave. East Drumheller, Alberta T0J0Y0 Canada
During the week Fred can be reached at his work number: 403.823.8082. Any other time he can be reached on his cell at: 403.820.2386
Thank you for taking the time to donate to the Morgan Jayne Project this Christmas!
January 19, 2009
The day we held our Christmas party was perfect, sunny, Caribbean day. All the kids turned out in their Sunday best: We had a great fish dinner (thanks Flying Fish) followed by cake and treat ( thanks Dave!). Unfortunately our Santa didn’t show up so we had to throw an Americana volunteer into a Santa suit, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. I taught him some rudimentary phrases in Spanish and he did a pretty good job except his beard kept falling off. The kids were SOOO thrilled with the gifts you sent them!!! Its been almost a month since the party now and I see the kids wearing the clothes, using the school supplies, carrying around beloved toys. You have brought so much happiness to these children, not just for one day but for weeks and possibly for months as your generosity leaves them feeling loved and lovable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have made a difference in this corner of the world.