Sunday, February 17, 2013

Three Women, Ten Children, Two Different Worlds

Jennifer with Manuel's manager and owners.

When Jennifer McNevin in Austin decided to dream big, and raise $10,000 for our organization, she already possessed a passion for changing the lives of our FFF clients. As my sister, she had listened to my stories of the women we assist. When our brother Mike (our vice president) shared his photographs after visits to Guatemala, she poured over the visual details. She most likely will never travel the three hour trip from Austin to Guatemala City, but she doesn't need to travel to a developing country to understand that her "sisters in spirit" needed help. 
Catarina, on land purchased for her through FFF funding

Lucia and her children
Ten thousand dollars worth of help. So that Catarina and her five children could sleep in a secure, waterproof home, and Lucia can look forward to living in a house that doesn't turn into a muddy swamp in the rainy season. Two plots of land deeded to these two widows means a lifetime of security in a country where very few indigenous women own land or houses. Two new houses to protect ten children from the weather and intruders ensures that the odds against these families are more favorable.
Jennifer assembled her resources, which meant implementing a team consisting of a graphic designer, a lawyer, an accountant, public relations staff and a printer. Did I mention that she had to convince them to donate their services? She organized her restaurant staff, all fifty of them, and oriented them to what our organization's mission was. No friend was safe from her request to purchase a raffle ticket that was part of the fundraiser meant to bring in the necessary money for these houses. One thousand tickets had to be sold by December 31st. For Jennifer, it wasn't an option to fall short of the goal. 
The staff at Manuel's restaurants worked very hard on this fundraiser. Convincing customers to purchase raffle tickets to benefit women in remote Guatemala was not an easy job. The staff had to create a connection between their customers and this cause. And they did...right down to the last ticket.