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Why Is FOSMO Changing?

Dear friends and neighbors,

 

Long before I joined the board of Friends of Santa Maria Orphanage (FOSMO), there had been a grass roots team of expats who say the need at the orphanage in Olon and they set out to help by giving each child gifts at Christmas delivered by Papa Noel.  And for years, volunteers gave and made the event better each year. By 2017, Roger Thomte and Cyndy Wergin had a vision of taking the support to the next level. With a starting board of 12, FOSMO was formed and with the help of Andy Kagan it became a not for profit 501(c)3 in March, 2019. It’s been a great being part of this group and especially working on the fundraisers before COVID. Many great volunteers helped and community support made it possible for the organization to do numerous projects at the home and, of course, continue to play Papa Noel to the kids each Christmas.

 

Much has changed since 2020, As board members literally moved on and some left to join other worthy causes, it has become more difficult and less practical to continue. FOSMO has been very fortunate to have some faithful monthly donors as well as some very generous occasional donors. Still, the cost of maintaining the website, PayPal fees and the time required to do taxes and accounting just does not make sense.

 

For several years, FOSMO has worked with Erwin and Danielle Musper (www.mjmecuador.com) are strong supporters of the home. They are on site almost daily for almost 10 years and have accomplished amazing things like the new dorm, the Red House.  Their personal generosity knows no bounds. FOSMO has made grants to MJM in support of past projects and we have committed to give one last grant of approximately $1600 towards a new initiative to make the home energy independent. With the current crisis, it seems like a great opportunity to set the home up for significant savings and basically just more reliable service. 

 

The other partner that FOSMO has associated with is Mission Santa Maria (https://missionsantamaria.com/) run by Jim and Grace Campbell who are also local residents. Jim’s been involved in helping the home for almost 20 years. Their slogan is “Education changes everything” which I think most of us would agree is absolutely true.  The foundation works with the home and the private school which the kids attend to provide quality education. You can read on their website about  the many programs that MSM is successfully running today and what their plans are for the future. 

 

So, FOSMO is granting to MSM our remaining funds and in return, MSM pledges to continue to fund Christmas for the kids and infant care. I’ll be speaking to our monthly donors and requesting that they simply change from contributing to FOSMO to giving monthly to MSM. I’m sure that most of them will agree that this is a good way to continue making a difference in the lives of these precious children. Maintaining enough income to continue Christmas and infant care without taking away from MSM programs is what makes this arrangement work. 

 

I have agreed to coordinate the shopping trip for the kids as well as the traditional Christmas dinner.  Please mark your calendars know from10-12 on Christmas Eve morning to see the kids perform songs and dances. It will make your holiday merry and the kids love an audience for all the hard work they put into this program.  I’ll be asking for help with baking turkeys and bringing food for their dinner as usual. Everyone is welcome to come! Basically, we are returning to the grassroots spirit, so your help is still needed.

 

Thank you all very much for your time and money to help these kids. Whether you give through MSM or MJM, there is always some way that you can help. Remember that neither of these foundations manages volunteers at the home or directs operations there. FOSMO thanks all of you and hopes that you will continue to support the home. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at kayegosline@me.com or whatsapp +1 706-957-1766, 

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