Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Can You Help Us Get School Supplies to Children in Costa Rica?

An Urgent Need & An Amazing Opportunity For You To Help Children Get the School Supplies They Need

It is February and February is the time in which families in Costa Rica head out to buy the $100 of school supplies each of their children need in order to continue going to school. Stores fill the newspapers with ads about special deals on what the students need. It is an exciting time for a country that has fought very hard to help their people be educated.

February is a little different if you are a young person living in a precario or squatter's settlement like the El Triangulo de la Solidaridad neighborhood we work in. With the average income per household being around $200 in the precario, most families can barely afford one child's $100 of school supplies and that is only if things are going well for their family.

It is easy to see why the average precario resident has only made it through the 3rd grade. It only takes one tough February economically where $100 might as well be $1 million and the boy or girl is forced to drop out of school, surrendering any chance of a life outside of poverty one day.

Fifty Young Peoples Lives Are Changed in the Precario

In 2007, our team began helping about nine families purchase the school supplies they needed. It was life-changing for them but, surprisingly, it was life-altering for us as well. Family members wept as we walked into hand them the supplies they needed.

In 2008, we went ahead and set aside $1000 to help 10 families get school supplies. We sent out an email to all of you and you responded by either donating $ or supplies. Your response was overwhelming. As a result, over fifty students received school supplies. The precario was dramatically impacted.

Over the course of the year, we took the program further. We opened tutoring centers in the precario (see photo above) where the students could also receive the tutoring support they would need to be able to do well in school. It isn't enough to help kids get into school. We have to help them do well once they get there. These tutoring centers have been a powerful tool, providing upper class private school students with the life changing opportunity to come and volunteer the tutoring that is dramatically helping the children from the precario.

This is a gift that keeps on giving.

How You Can Help A Child Have A Chance At A Future

So here we are in February again. Families are filling out request forms that we have designed where they are agreeing to report their child's grades each report card so we can track their progress and provide support for those who might struggle. We have just started collecting the lists and have already received 34 back with 59 in total having been requested.

I want to invite you into an amazing opportunity to help these young people and their families. If you can and if you are interested, please click on the link below to go to our website at and make an online donation. You can also send in a check to our office at P.O. Box 14387, San Antonio, TX, 78214-4387. Your gift will help us to be combined with those who have brought down school supplies to fill these lists and help these students have the opportunity to stay in school.

Click Here to Go to Boy With a Ball's Online Donation Page to Make a Donation to Help These Students

One Final Exciting Update

A dream is coming true for the Boy With a Ball/FUNDADEJO team in Costa Rica as Auburn University's graduate design program has taken on the project of designing and coming to Costa Rica to build us a community/tutoring center for us in the precario. The group is currently raising funds for the project with our staff to design the building. To find out more, click on the tutoring center box below.

(Click here to enter the site and learn more about the center!)

Thank you so much for your ongoing investment in our work to reach and equip young people. It is great to work with you as we walk into seeing these young lives changed.

Jamie Johnson

Executive Director

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