Day 2 of Tracy Crowley’s voyage to Central America included her visit to the Liberty Children’s Home in Belize. Tracy and five other women from Delaware and Maryland set sail as members of a Mission Ships program, which combines the pleasure of taking a cruise with real volunteerism in poor countries.
The women reached out to friends and family before their journey to round up school and craft supplies as well as monetary donations for the 80 children who live at the Liberty Children’s orphanage. In addition to collecting new calculators, back packs, flash drives and shoes, the women raised more than $1,000. When the ship docked, the ladies were excited to meet the young children at the Home. But first, they had a couple of stops to make to stock up on essential and “non-essential” (think candy and snacks) food items.
We are here at the Orphanage!
We were picked up at the ship by Donald Tillet, groundskeeper and general Mr. Fix it for the Children’s Home. We told him we had raised money to buy food for the home and would he please stop at a few local mom and pop stores so that we could “bless” them also by spending our money at local stores.
For me, the best part of the day was when Donald had ordered a bag of rice, two bags of beans and a bag of flour from the clerk. I asked the cost and the clerk said $58 American money (it is 2 Belizian dollars to our 1). So, I told him that he could get a lot more so he added another bag of beans. I told him that we had raised a lot of money and he could buy a lot more. He just didn’t understand.
I finally had to take him aside and whisper in his ear that we had over $2,000 Belizian dollars to spend on food for the children. You should have seen the way he pulled back and looked at me with really big eyes. He said “Are you sure?” I said “This is why we came.”
Then the real shopping started! We all grabbed a cart and he headed down the aisles. Having 5 kids of his own, he knew what staples to get. We loaded up on shortening, pasta, canned meats galore, spices, oatmeal, peanut butter, pancake mix, syrup, raisins, shelf stable milk, tuna, mayo and jelly. THEN we were able to get a few junk foods for the kids as a treat- Cherrios, Applejacks, Frosted Flakes, Oreos and candy.
Next we stopped at another local marketplace and bought 15 dozen eggs, bags of sugar, laundry detergent, bleach and a 50lb bucket of pigs feet! We could not have given any of this to the children without YOU. Your support and generosity and God’s goodness made all of this possible. Thank you.
More on the Orphanage later…