No matter what country you are from or live in, children are the most precious part of a community and it is important to ensure that they are well nurtured. Belize Kids are no different, however the need for assistance is. Without government funded schools many hard working two income families still struggle to send their children to school, never mind be in the position to buy them items that may be considered a luxury such as a back pack. It’s so special when a young person who although not born in Belize has grown up in San Pedro, recognizes a need and decides to do something about it. Faith Noel is just that somebody to start the ball rolling.
It quickly went beyond Faith and many started stepping in to help.
I got an email from one of my blog readers, Patty Jacquez saying she was talking with Renita a local business woman and she mentioned that Patty should message me. This is in response to San Pedro Scoop aka Rebecca’s recent blog about “Giving in San Pedro, helping local kids“. In it she mentioned Jansport backpacks for the kids. She went on to say more about the blog post on the high school collecting backpacks for underprivileged kids.
After checking into this further Patty believes this was the brainchild of Miss San Pedro High as part of her senior project. She was so impressed. This was her inspiration to put out the backpack challenge.
Patty wrote me and asked if I could be their voice and get the word out for them. She decided to call it the “backpack challenge” from Ramon and Patty Jacquez.
Patty and I did a lot of back and forth and I suggested she try reaching out to JanSport Corp. and she said she would when she got home to Texas.
I will do my part and reach out here;
- Do any of you reading this have a backpack connection or know of anyone that does and would be willing to donate backpacks for Belize kids?
- Are you coming down anytime soon and have room in your luggage to bring backpacks with you? If so please do.
- I am also going to suggest why not fill it up a bit with a few notebooks and all the good stuff a student needs to be successful in school.
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss
Patty was already on the ball and had two other couples joining them in San Pedro this week. They brought backpacks and wanted to put out a challenge to all visitors coming to SP for the next 2 months to also bring a Jansport backpack. The group was so humbled to do this, to be able to give back to the islands most precious resources, the children.
A Personal Note
I can tell you this from our hearts, we have been coming to San Pedro for the last 8 years. As I walk the beach, sit poolside, visit other resorts and stop by some of the more popular bars I can’t help but think about all the things that have brought people to this beautiful island. What people don’t spend enough time looking at, are the amazing people that make up this island, the people who are the housekeepers, the grounds people, the bartenders, hotel staff, teachers and parents and of course the children. As a mom, grandmother, soon to be retired nurse, I keep coming back to the children. Those beautiful smiling faces, even though they don’t have much they are always happy and smiling. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the island or just island life but I feel blessed and happy when I’m here. So why not give back to the island for the peace and tranquility it brings me, and no better place to start than with the children. When I read about the need for the backpacks, my husband Ramon and I thought why not challenge every visitor to bring just one backpack. Just think, if everyone did that for the next few weeks there would not be a reason for any child to go without a backpack. Such a simple gesture. So we put this out in Houston and our friends Ralph and Julie and their daughter Riley jumped on board and brought an additional 5 backpacks with them. Our other friends from Texas arriving Tuesday, T’mara and Kerry are bringing some too. -Patty Jacquez
If you do not have room for JanSport Backpacks in your luggage, you can find them on the island. This first pics shows a bit of the selection at Caye Supplies on Back Street.
Another San Pedro Shopping option is A&R on Middle Street near RC School. They have a large supply of backpacks. You can easily get a couple from there and walk over to Blue Water Grill to make a donation.
Here are a couple of my favorite kids pics since I started my first Belize volunteer experience at Holy Cross Anglican School back in 2007.