A story to touch your heart and an invitation to join us in making children’s dreams come true

Sep 30, 2021 | 2 comments

By Leita Hulmes

My name is Leita Hulmes, and I volunteer with the Ecuadorian foundation Hearts of Gold (HofG). Of their many programs, one that touched my heart is the program called “All Children Deserve to Dream”.

Every child deserves to dream, but in Ecuador dreaming is a privilege. Some children do not know when their next hot meal is going to be. Others study by candlelight, and many more lack the medicine they need to make it through the day. Often, nonprofit organizations become a home away from home for these children. Now, HofG wants to show Ecuadorian children that dreams can come true.

A young girl ready to enjoy her first ice cream cone.

One of the organizations that we work with is a community center called Fundación El Arenal, serving children from one of the poorest sectors of Cuenca. It features an after-school program, an educative counseling program, and also a nutritional lunch program.  El Arenal is a safe haven for many children whose families work long days in marketing booths in the Feria Libre, the city’s largest “mercado.”

So what dreams do these children have? In discussions with the incredible staff at HofG, I was told about one 10-year-old girl’s dream – she wanted rice with ketchup on it! And another dreamed of an ice cream cone. They had seen pictures, but to them this was just a dream. So with the help of the HofG staff, we took 5 girls from El Arenal to McDonalds for Happy Meals (with plenty of ketchup) and ice cream cones for dessert. My entire bill was $36! You can see the joy and the appreciation this simple effort on my part brought to these girls. The girls told us that this was a day they would never forget.

Five kids cheering during their first visit to McDonald’s. That’s Leita in the back.

And now I want to touch your hearts, too. Those are twins in the pink outfits. They both suffer from epilepsy and their medicine costs $70.00/month each. Some months, their single mom can only afford one prescription which she splits between them, and as a result the twins still have seizures. I live on my Social Security, but I am going to buy one of those prescriptions every month.

The children and Leita share a hug in Parque de la Madre.

You, too, can make a difference. Hearts of Golds Foundation has a waiting list of dreams of children and teenagers. You can see some of the dreams that have been made possible by HofG at: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/all-children-deserve-to-dream

I urge you to consider a gift to help a child realize a dream and then you, too, can feel the joy of having a heart of gold.

To help accomplish these dreams, Hearts of Gold will be joining with Global Giving on Giving Tuesday, November 30, where each donation will receive a special match through Global Giving. HofG will be posting more information in the near future, or if you would like to learn more about being a part of this program or how to join the campaign, please email us at info@heartsofgoldfoundation.org 

You can also visit our web page to learn more about all the help HofG provides to ten charitable organizations including CETAP-Lucy, Osso, Nova Educational Center and Proyecto Saman: http://heartsofgoldfoundation.org

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