As we begin our journey to the DR again this year, we wanted to take this opportunity to keep you up todate with what we have been doing. Once again we thank BTBCF for their support and allowing us to do our humanitarian work under your umbrella. We feel very blessed to be able to assist a child in their growth & development. We have just recently returned from Memphis TN where we gained termendous support for our cause. A benefit concert was held Dec 5th on behalf of the DR children and we were able to raise $2800.00 USD for this cause. In Canada we have been collecting school back packs & supplies, personal hygiene packs,clothes & shoes for the kids. Not to mention a toy that they will find in their back pack. In conjunction to this we have donation can set up through out our community in southern Alberta that has generated approx another $900.00 todate. In my basement packed and ready to go are 136 back packs, 150 hygiene packs and several bags of clothes ect. Air Transat has waiverred 660.lbs of weight for us to be able to take these supplies to the many families in need. They will be ready and waiting for our supplies at the airport when we arrive. Once we arrive to Puerto Plata we will take the cash donations and purchase food supplies for the families living in the mountains and distribute accordingly. The school supplies will go to the schools.
The response we have had with our community has been overwhelming and we are eternally grateful. We have been speaking to the FedEx corporation and to two main food distributors in the USA. Due to time constraints this year, Fedex has promised that next year they will make the necessary preparations for us to have a plane donated to transport food and school supplies. The food distributors will donate supplies and we will continue to campaign for school/hygeine products. Each year is getting bigger and better. Our efforts may appear overwhelming and to the excess but in reality we are only going to reach a very small portion of the needs in this country. I am very blessed to be a part of this work and have developed such a passion for this country & their people that it has become a number one focus. Thank you again for your letter of support from BTBCF. and we look forward to keeping in touch with you through out the year.
With great regards Terry Snider, Cynthia Ianni (Canada) & Charlene Duncan (USA)
Thank you to Marc and Denise Johns (Brugal) for their kind monetary donations.
Thank you to the Redmond's of Ottawa for their kind monetary donations.
Thank you to the kids of Sosua.
I would just like to thank you again for the wonderous help you gave us. As you are aware I make up school bags every year to help defray our costs or, if all is well, they are distributed to children who have managed to obtain uniforms but not the bags. This year, due to the crunch I am trying to make up all 330 of them. So far all is great I have almost enough bags, pens, pencils, crayons. Probably the only item that I may have to buy are scribblers. That is so incredible - we are all so happy with the people. As I was opening bags of donated supplies the other day (with some of my own school students) I opened the donation from Beyond the Beach, it was so well thought out, it was as if I had a hidden wish and there it was! Thank you all again (I know that I am not a very good communicator). Keep on going and we will look forward to seeing you all again on your next trip. Bless you, Karen
June 2, 2009
Special thank you to John and Sharon Basford Brooklin (Trip Advisor) The Bubba King for the Kind Monetary donation
Vince and I recently went on a one week holiday to the Dominican Republic and thought it a good time to use some of our AnaFund collections to help the local people there. We filled a suitcase full of donations, including about 150+ Bic pens, 200+ pencils, boxes of crayons, paper, frisbees, tennis balls, decks of cards, books, calculators, teddy bears and yes....even bras etc. Vic from the Philippines donated 3 picture dictionaries (spanish/english). It was a collective effort and we had a huge suitcase full of items.
There is a program in the Dom. Rep. called "beyond the beach", where local people will help you determine where you can take your donations depending on the location of your hotel, or they will take them to various locations for you (pickup from your hotel). This program was begun by Canadians. The incentive is to think "beyond the beach" and remember that when you go to a foreign country such as this, that there is still poverty beyond the beach and the people can use a bit of assistance.
As stated by the beyond the beach site, it is good to make an appointment with any teacher/school/orphanage before you come with goods because otherwise it disrupts the classes. So, on our first full day in the Dom. Rep. we walked into the local community to make an appointment with the teacher. The trouble was that at the beginning of town I managed to befriend a cute little dog (about the size of a large rat). I was kneeling and chatting with the wee beast and he took a real shine to me.
He began to tell me his life story in "dog language" and once on a roll he found it impossible to stop. I do believe I got his whole family history as he wound up and got louder and louder. He was not barking, he was loudly conversing in a depth of tone befitting a dog much larger than himself. Other dogs came to see what was happening and soon we found ourselves trying to discretely "walk" through the small town, followed by all the neighbourhood dogs (possibly 15?), the noise was deafening, the locals all coming out to see what was causing the disturbance. Local men started shouting at the dogs to stop and then the children came to see what was happening. Needless to say, discretion was no longer possible, everyone knew we were there and why we were there. At the school we found the teacher did not speak English, but a local man helped us by translating to French and then we tried to turn the French into English and vice versa. My high school French has been filed into the rusty chambers of my brain........but we did manage to make an appointment with the teacher for 11:30 that morning and she got the general impression that we had a lot of supplies for her.
Vince and I went back to the hotel a different route... partially to avoid the local dogs. At a small market we decided to pick up some dry dog food, thinking that it would be fun to spread the food around the street for all the dogs and perhaps they would not be quite so free with their voices. This we later found was a mistaken idea, apparently the local dogs don't recognize dry dog food as food, they snubbed their noses at the crunchy bits, but we had a terrible time convincing the local children...
that the kibble was not "people food". One learns from these experiences. Two hours later we headed back into town with 5 large bags full of supplies. We were once again greeted by the local dog welcoming committee. I made the mistake of giving a little teddy bear to a small child and as if a buzzer had gone off, the town swarmed us. Elderly women were most excited with the sports bras, as I gestured to them what they were ( I had the bras discretely packaged up.) I will not describe my gestures, you can imagine them on your own. (note, several days later on our trip into town the elderly women did appear to look much perkier in appearance than before. The baseball bats and balls went quickly, tennis balls and baseball caps were very popular (thanks to the Ladysmith Railway society for sharing some of their caps with us). Basically we were "stormed" by a frenzy of people. Almost half of our "stuff" never made it to the school, but it doesn't matter because the community is small and everyone will be able to use anything given. The boys ran off with the baseball supplies and disappeared in excitement to go play somewhere. We never did find out where they play baseball, but the school yard was much too small so it had to be somewhere else. Children grabbed our hands and walked us proudly to the school, some helping to carry the rest of the supplies. The trouble is that when you are surrounded by that many people, you cannot actually get out of the throng to take pictures, so alas, there are no pictures of the dog welcome committee or the swarms of people around us.
We got to the school and donated the school supplies. Upon looking around we realized that the pens and pencils and crayons were a great idea but the school had no paper. Later in the week we went into the next town to purchase some reams of paper, because it was something we had misjudged. Next time we will think of paper first, then the rest. There was not a piece of paper visible in that school room and there were only 3 books visible on the shelf. I think most schooling is done using the chalk board.
I instructed the teacher on how to use the decks of cards for math drills such as adding and multiplying. The decks of cards come from the Nanaimo casino, as they only use their decks of cards for a limited time and then one can get them for free. We had approximately 100 decks of cards to give away. They were very popular amongst children and adults. Later that week on a return trip to town, we noticed a some cute little girls playing with one of the donated decks of cards and snapped a photo of them. We also noticed some of the donated clothes washed and drying in the sun. If you look closely at the picture with the little girls, you will see two of my "dog friends" behind the girls.
Thanks to those of you that have donated to the AnaFund over the last year. It took a bit of a sidestep with our Bricks4Vic project, but we have donated quite a few soccer balls to El Salvador in 2008 and of course this is our first AnaFund project in 2009, made mostly with 2008 donations. Some really nice people helped me find last minute items and the suitcase was filled during the week before we left. It is much appreciated by those people in the Dominican Republic and the pictures make that pretty obvious.
Please, if you go places on holidays, scour the internet, find out what the community near your hotel needs and participate by sharing. It can only do good... and the world gets a little bit better, one step at a time. I have never found a hotel staff member yet that will not tell you what the local community could use. All you have to do is ask.
Also, please welcome Kary and Mildred to our group. They are two marvelous girls from the Dominican Republic that are going to try and help us with some new projects. They will be of primary importance because they can speak Spanish and English and are prepared to help us with translation and advice. Kary's mother is trying to build an orphanage in the Domincan Republic and when the economy picks up, perhaps we can give them a little boost with their dream.
Kary and Mildred are both students studying tourism at University, as well as working full time to pay for their expenses. Both have refused payment for their services because they feel that our project is "good" and they want to be part of the team. This is very gracious of them, because in truth, they can use the money I offered for payment.
Feb. 20, 2009
Hi everyone. We're off to the airport tomorrow morning for our trip to DR. We thought you'd like to know that we are taking with us cash donations for DREAM and Mustard Seed. We'll be taking 985 (approx $1350 US) for Mustard Seed which includes enough to pay for a Water Heater in the children's Bathroom. and plenty over. Also 730 (approx $1000 US) for DREAM This is all through the generosity of the congregations of the various churches in our little community! We'll report back when we come home. We will be checking our holiday emails when we're away - so if you want to reach me over the next two weeks please email firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best.
Paul and Annette
March 6, 2009
Beyond the Beach Children's Foundation
Greetings from Mustard Seed Communities Immanuel! On behalf of the children and staff of Mustard Seed. We wish to thank you for your generous cash donation of US $1000.00 and RD $2.050.00 received on January 25th 2009, toward to purchase an electric generator for our children home.
Thank you also for the donation received of assorted clothing, toothbrushes, gloves packages and traveling bag for our children. We really appreciate your help and cooperation. Please be assured of our continuous prayer for you intentions.
Mustard Seed Communities Immanuel
February 10, 2009
Beyond the Beach Childrenʼs Foundation
16 Liscomb Court
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Dear Olive Thompson and members of the Beyond the Beach Childrenʼs Foundation.
Thank you so much for your recent donation of $2,500 on February 9, 2009 to the Dominican Republic Education and Mentoring (DREAM) Project, $100 of which was used to give the children in the art program a pizza lunch, and $400 to be used for the Summer Program, and the rest for general expenses.
Your continued support and generosity are helping us to achieve our goal of providing a higher standard of education for the underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic.
On behalf of the students who will benefit from your thoughtfulness, we thank you for joining us to make the DREAM Project stronger than ever.
Patricia Thorndike Suriel
The DREAM Project
On January 25, 2009 - $2.000.00 US & $ 205.00 RD was donated to the Sosua Kids group by the BEYOND THE BEACH organization.
Once again this year wish to express our heartfelt thanks to Beyond the Beach and its members for their help.
Thank You, Suellen and Jim Slockbower, Roswell Georgia for your Kind Monetary Donation
We received an email from Jon Wunderlich of The Dream Project in Cabarete D.R. He informed us that the $2,000.00 donation we made this February put us over the $150,000.00 mark in 4 short years. This total includes both financial, health, educational and clothing supplies.
Here is what Dream did with our donation.
The generous contribution of BTBCF helped complete an ambitious reconstruction project at the Puerto Cabarete School, replacing the office and bathroom roofs which were not only leaking water, but dangerous asbestos. The importance of this project can not be overstated and the schools lack of resources and inability to solve the problem made BTBs role even more critical. Thanks to your contribution, the students can now learn in a safe environment.
Mike Fisher and Punta Cana Mike report that, as off mid April that total amount of donations delivered and distributed in the Punta Cana region along with the BTBCF donations delivered by Hlywud and greggy from Ontario to be in the neighbourhood of $4000 US. Mike Fisher has indicated each month he receives between $500 and $700 worth of donations, while Punta Cana Mike estimated this season at around $2000 worth of clothes and supplies. Donation amounts are a difficult thing to place a dollar value on, every donation, but no matter how small each donation makes a huge difference.
Beyond the Beach Children's Foundation
Greetings from Mustard Seed Communities ? Immanuel!
On behalf of the children and staffs of Mustard Seed, We wish to thank you for your generous donation of US$1000.00 and one digital camara received for the children of Mustard Seed Communities Immanuel when you visited us last month. We really appreciate your help.
We know that God is never outdone in generosity. What you have done for our children will certainly be repaid by him a hundredfold. Please be assured of our continuous prayer for you intentions.
Johanna Ventura and Marverlee Sharpe
Packing for a week in the Dominican Republic: bathing suit, sunscreen, flip flops, crayons, pencil sharpeners. School supplies on vacation? For Gregg Andrews of Dartmouth and other members of the Beyond the Beach Childrens Foundation taking items to donate is as much a part of travelling to the D.R. as lounging by the pool and drinks with umbrellas. The foundation dates to 2003 when a frequent poster to an online forum about the Dominican wrote about an experience he had with his 11-year old daughter while on vacation in Puerto Plata. "They went on one of these jungle-type safaris and stopped at a school, and she was quite taken by how little they had at this school to learn with," said Andrews. "So she challenged her classmates to each bring in one pencil and one eraser for each student in a class of 30 children. (The father) mentioned it on the discussion board, and people started saying, Why don't they challenge the school next door? And they did.
"Then he started challenging people on the board: You're going down in a months time why don't you take this and take that? The bottom line is that in the next 12 months . . . tey raised over $80,000 worth of school supplies. It continued into the next year, and it doubled the next year." Andrews and his wife travel to the Dominican Republic twice a year and are in the midst of planning their 19th trip. "In a word, it's the people," he said, explaining why they keep going back. "The people are just so nice. They'd give you the shirt off their back even if they barely have a shirt to cover their back. We've been elsewhere . . . but we didn't get the same feeling anywhere else." Beyond the Beach has nine directors, each of whom pays $100 annually for the privilege of serving. The group advises tourists on what sorts of things would be most useful to take with them, holds fundraisers for Dominican charities and writes to airlines on behalf of travellers to ask for increased baggage allowances. "The biggest thing people want is some direction we're going to Punta Cana and we'd like to help. What can we do?" said Andrews, who tends to fly Air Canada to the Dominican because of that airlines more generous baggage regulations. "We go to Value Village or the Sally Ann thrift stores when they have sales because we have six months to plan. We take a lot of clothing, and school supplies those are the two main items. It's all for kids."
Jean Iannetti of Lingan in Cape Breton has travelled to the D.R. several times over the last decade, prizing the country for its beaches and the warmth of its people. She's long kept charity in mind when packing for her southern sojourns, but now, after learning about Beyond the Beach, thinks her donations may do more good. "I've always taken stuff when we go at first, it was just things for the maids. It was just hair bows and other little things, then we took more practical stuff, like toothbrushes and toothpaste. But through (Beyond the Beach), you can get your donations to orphanages and things like that," Iannetti said. "They're really poor, they're humble people and they help each other so what they get, I'm sure, they share it." Andrews said only a small percentage of the tourists who visit the Dominican ever leave their resort to interact with residents. But even a short trip from the airport to the luxury hotels and villas makes the economic situation plain to the tourists. "They certainly (see it) if they open their eyes while they're on the buses on the way to the resort because it comes up and smacks you in the face. You'll see something half as solid as my shed, and there's a family of six that lives in it, with a dirt floor," Andrews said of the country where the average annual income is less than $3,000. "We're not making a huge difference but we're making a little difference."