Here are some facts about the orphanage. There are two houses. The first one is home to 97 children from birth to 6 years of age. The home is overcrowded and understaffed, although the staff seems to be doing their best to care for the children. The biggest need at this house is clothing, shoes and playground equipment. The second house houses 15 special needs children on the first floor and 17 babies from 1 month to 9 months of age on the second floor. The second house needs everything you can think of for babies:
*Small toys with lights and music
*Exercsaucers (3 or 4)
*Punkin seats or bouncy seats (aprox. 6)
*Baby bed Mobiles (could use 15)
*Soft rubber interlocking floor squares
*(No stuffed animals or cloth toys that can't be wiped down with antibacterial wipes)
I was not allowed to take any pictures of the children but I do have a few pictures of empty rooms. The hogar is clean. The colors of the rooms are bright and cheerful but there are just too many children and not enough staff. Any kind of toys that offer stimulation for the younger children would be a great benefit. Unfortunately they spend way too much time in their beds and their little brains need to be working.
It's hard to tell by this picture, but this is the play area for the first house. It's a concrete slab. There are two rubber balls, three half tires sticking out of the ground, a small plastic slide and a baby swing. That's the extent of their playground equipment.
This is a typical bedroom. As you can see, it's full of beds. Each bedroom I saw was completely full of rows of beds with just enough room to walk around each row. Most rooms had a rocking chair where the room mother could sit. The day I was there, each room mother I saw was holding and rocking a sick child. With so many children in such a small space, they can't help but pass along their sickness to each other.
This is their little dining room. There were 18 little chairs around this table and it's the only one in the room. I can't imagine 18 toddlers sitting down and sitting still at a table like this but I guess if they want to eat, they learn to sit and sit still.
It no longer makes sense to ask why our little Nola has been placed here. I've seen for myself the need of these children and I have to do all I can to help them.
Small items can be sent relatively easy. Our friends Danny and Brittney are traveling down the end of June and have offered to take an extra suitcase full of donations with them. I'm sure I'll be traveling down again sometime soon and I will take all I can with me. It might make more sense to purchase large items while in Guatemala. We'll just wait and see how shipping fees turn out.
If you would like to donate items (new or gently used) send them to:
Shelburn First Baptist Church
520 West Mill Street
Shelburn, IN 47879
Monetary donations in the form of check or money order can also be sent to the church.
Please be sure you put Guatemala or Guatemala Orphanage on the memo line.
If you have a specific way you would like the money to be used, just enclose a note with your wishes.
I would love to outfit the playground with some Little Tikes play houses or something similar and some ride or pedal toys. The children will be so grateful for anything we send. They currently have nothing so anything we send will be wonderful.
I'll keep you all updated with lists of items donated.