After her initial visit to ProNiño with a fellow Delta flight attendant and former Board member Laura Long, Tabitha started her Angel Tree Project to ensure that the children of ProNiño had gifts to open and a reason to celebrate at Christmastime. Much like traditional local Angel Tree programs during the holidays, Tabitha gathers wish lists, clothing and shoe sizes, and other basic information on each of the ProNiño children and reaches out to her local community to find sponsors. Each sponsor purchases the items on their Angel's list and fills a school backpack full of these Christmas goodies for the children to open at Christmastime. Year after year Tabitha and her fellow collaborators have found sponsors for every child residing in the ProNiño centers, many of whom have never even travelled to ProNiño or Honduras before.
I find one of the most amazing things about ProNiño and a reason I continue to volunteer with this organization is just how grassroots we still remain. This season I'll walk by several folks ringing bells for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, I'll be asked to round up to the nearest dollar at the grocery store for various charities, and encounter countless opportunities to donate non-perishables to the local Food Bank for the holidays. Even throughout the year I encounter several organizations that have a much more global or national presence, with the capital to create commercial campaigns and large-scale fundraising events that bring in incredible donations.
With ProNiño, we continue to rely on our small cohort of volunteers and folks dedicated to the cause of these amazing children. People like Tabitha and Simon and Laura, who spend much of their own time and funds to make sure these kids get to experience what we do here in the States on Christmas. We ask our relatively small but diverse donor base to give this time of year and help make these projects possible, and what we see each holiday season is truly remarkable. People from all over the U.S. and even some international donors choose to donate and support our cause to keep this very grassroots place up and running.
As you start purchasing Christmas gifts for friends and family, and perhaps get caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping this weekend, please consider making a small donation to the Christmas Fundraiser as well. We have over 60 children who need Holiday Meal Sponsorships, and we're also hoping to make a trip to the Joya Grande Zoo possible for the kids with a fundraising goal of $1,800 (donations can be made through the Holiday Activities Fund). Take the time to watch the entire video below of the 2014 Angel Tree Project and see where your donations will be headed—straight to benefitting the children. Thanks to those of you who have given already or are making backpacks for the Angel Tree Project, we couldn't do it without you!
ProNiño USA Board Member