At Love and Hope, education has always been one of our top priorities. It’s an asset we’re able to give the kids that can never be taken away from them. We have seen education pull so many people up out of poverty and place them on a new path to a better life.
We’ve been investing in education for years, and it has been a joy to watch so many of our young people take advantage of the opportunities that investment has opened up. We currently have seven young people studying at a university level: five of them in El Salvador and two of them in Ohio! Our younger kids continue to receive a quality education at safe, bilingual, private schools in San Salvador.
As of March, the president of El Salvador mandated that all schools, public and private, provide remote learning for all levels of education, including university. Of course, for many young people in El Salvador who do not have internet or a home computer, this brought their education to a halt. We are so grateful that at Love and Hope, we didn’t skip a beat. We are fortunate to have the resources to make online learning a success. It has been interesting to see all the different techniques and methods used by the different schools and to watch our kids adapt to this new normal.
At first, the kids had to take turns using our computers depending on who had to be online for a class at any given time. It worked, but was not without its challenges. We shared the need for additional devices with a couple of our faithful local donors and their response was overwhelming. One donor shared the need with some friends and with their donations we were able to buy a brand new laptop for our transition house. A couple weeks later FOCUS Call Center donated 6 laptops that have been distributed in our three homes.
Of course providing this solid, quality education to all of our kids is not free! Every year we do a large fundraiser in order to raise the funds needed for our annual education budget. This year, just a month before the event was supposed to be held, we were forced to cancel the 2020 Love. Hope. Dine. education fundraiser due to COVID-19.
By June, the country of El Salvador was not only facing the impact of the pandemic, but also torrential rains, floods, and landslides from two tropical storms. Many people were forced to evacuate, losing their homes and all of their belongings. Seeing this devastation, we knew that we had to shift our focus from our education fund to the immediate need in front of us: disaster relief.
Many of you contributed to those efforts, and with your assistance, we were able to provide food, clothing, and building materials to families affected by both COVID-19 and the tropical storms. Your donations made a huge impact on the lives of those who were affected.
Six months have passed since we canceled Love. Hope. Dine., and our education fund has been depleted. We are currently $15,000 under budget for education in 2020, and will need another $15,000 to start the 2021 school off with all of its fees and expenses. Although this sounds discouraging, we have some very exciting news to share! We have been given a $15,000 matching gift for education! This means, if we can raise $15,000 those funds will be matched for a total of $30,000! This will not only cover our expenses for 2020, but get us off to a great start in 2021!
Will you join us and continue to invest in the education of the amazing, talented young people at Love and Hope? Will you reach out to your friends and family and ask them to join this campaign as well? Remember, no donation is too small and every dollar will be matched! $50 becomes $100. $100 becomes $200! Please consider taking this opportunity to have your donation instantly doubled! Every dollar raised FOR EDUCATION from now until the end of the year will be matched up to $15,000!
We can’t thank you enough for taking the time to stay connected to Love and Hope, and for your investment in all the kids that are not so little anymore! From each of them, to each of you, thank you so much for your support! We could not do it without you!