By Leita Hulmes
Hi! It’s Leita again, a volunteer with the Ecuadorian charitable foundation called Hearts of Gold. I wanted to give an update to all the supporters of Hearts’ “All Children Deserve to Dream” program. Through the Global Giving platform, your generosity (YOUR hearts of gold!) provided Hearts with over $5,000.00! We did not receive the funding immediately, but will be fulfilling two dreams every month.
Several psychological studies show that children see their dreams as goals, and once they achieve a goal, their self-esteem is raised. Although some of their dreams may seem simple (I told you before about a little girl who dreamed of rice with ketchup), our program helps them to grow. We encourage them to study, to understand the concepts of setting goals and that work/effort will help them to achieve those goals and build a better future.
Xiomara (15 yrs.):
My dream is to have a day at the hairdresser’s, to feel pampered. I would like to have beautiful curls done with my hair. I would also love to be made up – it would be a perfect day.
For $50 you made a young girl’s dream come true and started her on the path of setting ‘dreams’ (goals) and help her to see that SHE can work to make them come true.
Katherine (18 yrs.):
My dream is to be able to enter a pre-university class to prepare myself for college. I would like to study engineering and be able to help people who are in vulnerable situations. I would like to help as well as you help us now.
This cost was $400, but I am sure you can see how, through this program, we are seeing not only the potential for a successful future, but we have opened a young woman’s eyes to the potential for helping others.
Camila (12 yrs.):
My dream is to have a pink bike and be able to go to the park to ride it with my mommy and sister.
A new bike costs $150. Camila is not the first (nor last) to dream of having a bicycle. We have another dreamer who received her bicycle so she could go to school and can help her mother at work. As these children grow, their dreams expand and they recognize that they can work toward their goals. We just help them get going!
Franklin (13 yrs.):
My dream is that I would like to have my own bike, to be able to take my brothers and sister and share with them. I would love to feel the wind while I am on my bike.
Another $150 for a young boy who also wants to share with his siblings. Even the dreams are not selfish!
The staff at Hearts call us Fairy Godmothers or Godfathers. One more story: A previous dream started with a young fairy godmother – 12- year- old Paola. Not a dream for her, but for her friend, 15- year- old Luis Miguel, who had not been able to study during the last two years of the pandemic; not because he did not want or did not like to study, but because he did not have the means to continue his education. On-line study requires a computer and he did not have one. With help from Hearts, a computer was given to Luis at a surprise ceremony. I wish you could have seen the look of amazement and joy on his face! And even more importantly, Paola says the way she sees things now has changed drastically! Now she is much more grateful for what she has and is committed to continue helping the most vulnerable.
We are currently doing a major update on our website. We have been so busy building up the Community Assistance Program (we now have 10 members but only 4 appear on the website at the moment) but you can still keep up with the Dream program at http://heartsofgoldfoundation.org/all-children-deserve-to-dream/. Wait until you see those smiling faces and I know you will understand why I have focused so much on this particular aspect of the Hearts of Gold Foundation.
For now, from my heart to yours – THANK YOU!