A Touch of Love Foundation
604 Hupa St., Ventura, CA 93001 805-641-2800 1-877-273-2549
Thank you for your generous support
A Touch of Love Foundation continues to provide essential services to those in desperate need, particularly children, in India including the tsunami affected area, Ghana, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and local projects in Southern California. As you may know, we are an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff in the U.S., so 100% of your contributions go to our programs. Any overhead costs, such as this web site, are covered by our sale of Indian crafts at fairs in Southern California. These fairs also raise thousands for project development.
Our philosophy is to enable sustainable village development. We offer the services a community wants and needs and pay local people a fair wage to provide them, thus supporting the local economy. We now employ 29 people at project sites, including doctors, nurses, teachers, cooks, and social workers. We develop our programs personally, in conjunction with community leaders, and oversee them in person. We’re excited by the growth of our ongoing programs and by our ability to add new programs to our purpose of supporting those in terrible need. Your participation, interest, and financial support constantly encourage us to continue expanding and developing new programs to reach more and more children.
FREE EYEGLASSES IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
What do you do if you have no money and your child can’t see the blackboard to read the classwork or the homework? Many poor Dominicans and Haitians at the school we support near FRIUSA in the Dominican Republic had this very problem. We built classrooms, bought uniforms, desks and school supplies, paid for food and for teacher’s salaries. This trip we came to find out the eyesight of the children and their parents. Due to a donation of free glasses from L.B.K. Optical Laboratory in Yorba City, California, we set up an eye camp in June. Three optomotrists were paid to come from Santo Domingo to the school to examine the children and their parents, about 150 in one day. The Laboratory gave us over 600 pairs of new frames for the patients to choose from. Any children having trouble reading close up or far away were given priority. Many were Haitian and we had four volunteers translate from Creole to Spanish so the optometrists could communicate with them. We had some children and adults who couldn’t even see the chart’s largest letters at all. One was the principle’s son, 12 years old. He tested out at 20-700 and he had never been to an eye doctor. Coincidentely, he was doing very poorly in school-he couldn’t see anything written on the board! We had a six year old girl starting school in August who needed glasses and many parents who needed bifocals. How can you get a descent job when you can’t see? We went back 13 August to bring the completed pairs of glasses to the children before school started on 17 August. We will repeat this program both here in the US and abroad.
ORPHANS ADDED TO OUR INDIA CHILDREN’S HOME
First of all we would like to congratulate another tsunami child who graduated college. He became a mechanic in June and was offered a job right out of school. He will pull his whole family out of poverty. We also added a second girl to nursing school from the original 46 children we took in June 2005. We have two other children in junior college; our Foundation doesn’t stop helping the children until they are self sufficient. We also had the good fortune to have many boys and girls graduate high school this year throughout our India programs. Many have gone on to higher education. Unfortunately, there are more very poor children who have lost one or both parents. So far since June four girls and 3 boys added to our “happy family”. We took in a girl whose father left her when she was very young and this springtime her mother died of cancer. Another two girls had their father die and their mother is just a day laborer and can’t support them. One boy came to our Children’s Home when his second parent died and he is just nine years old. Two young boys moved in when the mother took off and abandoned them. The father had a terrible choice: stay home and not work and take care of them or leave them alone all day and feed them. The father’s whole income is $23 a month. Now the boys are fine and happy and the father can support himself. Two more girls have asked to join as we write this newsletter and will be interviewed.
HELP FOR ORPHANAGE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
For almost three years now we have paid for all the food, uniforms, electrical supplies, propane, school supplies and repairs for an orphanage in Higuey, Dominican Republic. We used to bring the moeny with us and buy the food and supplies onsite. Then we came once and they had send "home" 8 older boys becaue they ran out of food! That very month, more than two years ago, we set up a system to send money every month and then re-supply when we come to the orphange 3-4 times a year. Onsite we also evaluate the structural problems and unique situations. Once we had to buy 13 light bulbs, six light switches and four light outlets as the place was so dark. Next trip we rebuilt the basketball court and added 50% more length, painted the court and removed the barbed wire nearby. One trip someone had donated a washer and dryer but they had no electrical or water connections to use them. Their electrical supply was two lone wires coming to the house held up by a pipe. We established a real eletrical box and the 30 amp wiring necessary to run a dryer. We had to re-route the wate so we could have proper drains for a washing machine.
Sometimes you just have to let children have fun! We took all the children to the beach last June; many had never seen the ocean living an hour away. This past August we took all the children to their first movie ever, Smurfs 3D. It turned out that neither of the directors had ever gone to a movie either. They had so much fun with snacks and 3D glasses!
The orphan boys playing in the water at Bavaro Beach The orphan boys at the 3D movie theater
1. We are still helping the American mother with Lupus to get back to work and take care of her two children. We paid for food and part of the rent this month.
2. The mother on dialysis we told you about last newsletter died in India in May. We take care of her four children in our Children’s Home.
3. We are building a new classroom for our AIDS orphans in Ghana at their school and it will be ready by September to start the new school year.
4. We sent 100 children camping in June from our slum area school in the Dominican Republic. We bought 5 tents and tons of food for the trip. Many of the children who went are Haitian immigrants.
5. We planted 45 more trees in Dhablepuri, India to continue the micro-industry building project there funded by Tree of Life Stores of Australia There are now 150 trees that will mature with fruit in a staggered time frame over the next three years.
It is impossible to tell you the true impact all of you who donate make on these children’s lives. Imagine if your child couldn’t see or was homeless and someone helped them!