Melissa, what challenges do you face ?
Uncertainty of Income
Reliable, predictable and adequate funding. We can cope with anything except insufficient funds. In all honesty, all our needs could be solved with a predictable, sufficient income. In that regard, our GEMS (Give Every Month Supporters) are so crucial for us. Without them, we simply could not survive. Yet the income uncertainty gap remains large. The result is that we live in a world of uncertainty. But that, of course, comes with the territory.
We can cope with anything except insufficient funds. In all honesty, all our needs could be solved with a predictable, sufficient income.
Our children come to us from very, very difficult situations. They are emotionally scarred and so needy of love and encouragement. It takes a great deal of time, awareness, expertise and patience to help our boys and girls work through their social and psychological issues.
The high quality of care at Corazón is now, it seems, common knowledge in Puerto Vallarta, for we receive a steady stream of requests to take in children, both from government sources and ‘off the street.’
This is not to say that we choose only high-functioning applicants. On the contrary, our children and youth come from unimaginably difficult circumstances. However, there are some fundamental criteria we apply to the choices we make (every choice is difficult, often heart-breaking).
- Have the resources they need to flourish
- Have the basic social skills required to interact adequately with staff and residents
- Express a desire to be at Corazón
- Express some willingness to learn, grow and contribute to our family
How do you cope, living every day in such an uncertain and stressful environment?
We are definitely presented with challenges but in them we see opportunities for growth – a vision we share daily with our children. It has to do with living one’s faith – truly helping others to reach their full potential. This is in essence our reason for being.
It is a gift, a blessing, an honor – to make a difference in our children’s lives, the way they see family and the way they see themselves. For their trust, we are full of gratitude.
People often ask, “when will you start turning them away or when will you have reached your limit?” … our answer: “when do you stop loving; when do you stop believing”?
And, where there is faith there is no fear and we choose faith every time.
We walk through storms together, holding hands as a family… and nobody arrives at our door by accident. When you truly believe that there is a reason for absolutely everything and that all is as it should be… the blessings begin, one after the other… and, in the world of faith resides an abundance of love, forgiveness and hope – the wind beneath our wings.
Where do you hope to be with Fundación Corazón de Niña five years from now?
My major goal is for Corazón to be well along the road to financial self-reliance. In other words, I hope to have developed several enterprises or one really good one that will generate enough income to cover our expenses and permit us to expand Corazón services.
We know the demand for our services in the adjacent state of Nayarit (Nayarit is a thirty minute drive from here) is huge. So when we are in a position to expand (ideally within the next five years), we will establish a third home there.