Many of our readers know VSL as the “food bank” because that is where we started out. However there are many people in San Felipe who distribute food to needy families. Most of the churches, some other organizations and even some private individuals have food pantries that share with folks either in emergencies or on a regular basis. So what makes Volunteers Without Limits different? As far as food distribution, NOT a whole lot. We share a common goal with all of the folks in San Felipe who give out food, to alleviate hunger. In spite of what may seem like redundancy, the need still surpasses the supply and there are children in San Felipe who without the “dispensa” would go hungry.
Recently, while browsing the internet I found articles about food banks that have warehouses full of food with hundreds of people to help pack and distribute it. Here in San Felipe we have a back room with a few bags of beans, rice and flour and a few faithful ladies who bag the food and hand them out twice a month to families in need.
What makes VSL different is the motivation behind their dedication to this work. The ladies you meet at the Volunteers Without Limits thrift store (segundo) put in long hours not only packaging and handing out the food but also receiving, sorting, displaying and selling the clothing and household items that are so generously donated to VSL. They do this as volunteers, none receive a salary for their work.
So why do they do this? Partially because most of them know what it means to depend on dispensa in lean times when there is no work. However, the deeper motivation for this commitment is in the other half of VSL, the child’s therapy room that has become dormant during the summer months for lack of adequate air conditioning.
Each of these ladies has a family member or knows a child with a debilitating disease or birth defect. Most of them struggle to care for that child’s needs in an dire economy while living in town where medical facilities are limited.
Patty, the director of VSL, has a child who suffers from cerebral paralysis and tremors as a result of an oxygen deprivation during child birth. She and her daughter Lupita have been fortunate though as Lupita was accepted by the Centro de Rehabilitación Infantil Teletón or CRIT and though this program Lupita has access to continued medical assistance and annual evaluations.
The Teletón in Mexico is an annual 24-plus-hour TV and radio broadcast, started in 1996, to raise money for children’s rehabilitation centers (known as Centro de Rehabilitación Infantil Teletón or CRIT) for disabled children.
Since 1996, 17 centers have been built in various parts of Mexico, including Baja Sur. We hope someday to see such a facility here in Baja Norte.
Each year Patty and Lupita make the trek to participate in the 24 hour Telethon to raise money for the Center. During the week following the telethon, Lupita meets with a battery of professionals at the Center for continued evaluation and care. Last year the doctors told Patty that Lupita needed to have a specialized wheel chair and braces for her legs to keep her bones growing properly. We were thrilled that we were able to find such a chair for Lupita at an affordable cost and that even that cost was covered by our donors.
. The Telethon this year will be held in October and Patty and Lupite hope to participate at the CRIT facility in Hermosillo where Lupita has a week of appointments with doctors scheduled. As one of the children who receives care from CRIT and a Poster Child for the Center, Lupita and her mother Patricia Orosco are seeking YOUR help to pay for their trip.
Their expenses for the week will be approximately $500. You will see canisters in businesses throughout San Felipe for you to deposit your change for this cause. You can also contribute via our Paypal buttons on this page. If you do so please indicate in the notes box that your donation is specifically for the telethon trip. If we receive funds over and above the cost of Lupita and Patty’s expenses they will be contributed to the Telethon itself for work of CRIT, which we hope will someday bring this quality of medical care to Baja Norte!