Think about the first four years of a child’s life, when every day means learning something new. How to eat, crawl, form words, walk, run, jump, dance, draw, make friends, trust adults.
Now imagine those first four years growing up in a dark orphanage with limited interaction, never enough food, and only fleeting glimpses of your mother or a consistent caregiver. Imagine what a child learns – or doesn’t.
Four years ago, I walked up the steps to the first Casita site just before 6 am to welcome our very first family, determined to find a better way to care for abandoned and vulnerable children in the community of Copán. I had no idea how difficult the next four years would be, how many sleepless nights, epic workdays, and temper tantrums (only sometimes mine) were ahead of me. I just knew that I needed to try.
In the past four years, we’ve researched, practiced, studied, and experimented to build a model that really works. We are proud to say that all 54 children at Casita Copán can count on a biological or foster family, nutritious food, medical care, educational programming, mentorship, and an ever-widening support network both here in our community of Copán and around the world.
I’ve learned so much in the last four years. I’ve learned how children can survive, how they can leave trauma behind and emerge tougher, smarter, and ready for anything life gives them. I’ve learned that building an organization requires patience, a sense of humor, a very thick skin, and did I mention patience? I’ve also learned how people all over the world, from New Zealand to Puerto Rico to Pittsburgh can care about children that they’ve never even met and come together to change lives.
Now, more than ever, we need donations to fulfill the commitment we’ve made to our children: a healthy childhood and a path to success in adulthood.
If you’ve ever though about donating to Casita or if you are already one of our amazing donors, consider making a donation today in honor of our four year anniversary and help us keep celebrating anniversaries for years to come.
Thank you for joining me on this amazing adventure!