Los Alamos Rotary Contingent To Visit Juarez, Mexico; Asking For Community’s Help

A child helped by Corazón de Niños in Juarez, Mexico. Courtesy photo

ROTARY News:

A contingent from the Los Alamos Rotary STARS (Service to All Rotary Satellite) will travel to Juarez, Mexico next weekend to visit a children’s hospital and community center the group is supporting through a joint project with the Camino Real Rotary Club of El Paso.

Members of the STARS group are asking community members to help by donating much-needed items they can take with and distribute to those in need during this visit.

The main project Camino Real Rotary Club is supporting is called Corazón de Niños, which assists children who are born with heart diseases. If untreated, the survival rate for these children can be significantly diminished.

As a first assessment of how Los Alamos STARS can be of assistance to Corazon de Ninos, the group plans to visit the Children’s Hospital in Juarez in March. Currently there are about 50 children in the hospital undergoing treatments for various health problems, including 30 newborns and around 20 preschool-to-early-elementary-aged children. The patients at this facility can sometimes lack basic necessities, such as baby bottles, pillows and blankets.

“I was informed that some children recovering from procedures would benefit from having basic comfort needs met, as pillows and blankets are in short supply at this particular venue,” said STARS member and trip organizer Michael Erickson. “We hope to not only support the project through funding from our Rotary Club, but also by bringing with us these items that would be useful to the patients and their families.”

Mothers are allowed to stay with their child in the hospital, and often would benefit from having a simple care package to assist with their stay. Toward this end, STARS has already collected enough toiletry supplies to provide each mother with a care kit including toilet paper, soap, shampoo, dental supplies and other necessities.

The group also is hoping to bring small toys and coloring supplies for the children in the hospital during this visit, things to cheer them up while they are going through treatment.

During this visit to Juarez, STARS also will assist the Camino Real Club during a visit to a community center sponsored by Rotary. The center is in a neighborhood called Anapra, an area of Juarez which is experiencing exceptional economic challenges.

“Rotary members visiting the center are often immediately swarmed by children in these neighborhoods, hoping for a little assistance with food needs,” Erickson said. “Along with the Camino Real club who provides for these communities often, we are planning to hand out soccer balls, pencils, stickers and other items on this trip.” STARS has already received generous donations of items from Bandelier and the Los Alamos branch of First National Santa Fe bank.

Items the Camino Real Club has requested for both the hospital and Anapra include:

  • Baby bottles
  • Blankets and small pillows
  • Coloring books and crayons
  • Pencils, erasers and small pencil sharpeners
  • Stickers
  • Soccer balls
  • Puzzles
  • Matchbox cars

Any items community members wish to donate can be dropped off M-F at the Zia Realty Group office at 1475 Central Ave., Suite 150. Items must be new, due to regulations about taking donations across the border. The STARS group will be collecting donations through Wednesday, March 25.

Businesses wishing to make a contribution to support this cause can contact Laura Loy at laura.loy@usa.net.

“Rotary STARS appreciates all the community support we’ve received,” added Erickson, “and we look forward to updating the community upon our return, including how their donations created impact in this nearby underserved area.”

The Los Alamos Rotary STARS is a group of motivated Rotarians who are determined to fit community and international service into their busy lifestyles, while at the same time having FUN! For more information about the group or to make a donation to this cause, contact laura.loy@usa.net or go to http://www.facebook.com/RotarySTARS.

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