As I walked from one room to the next, up a short flight of stairs, he jumped into my arms from the top of the stairs, little arms and legs wrapped around me as he gave me a huge hug. He did not want to let go and stayed in my arms as I was shown the boys’ dorm. He was smiling with eyes as big as moons even though he had a bad cold, or maybe the flu. No matter, he was getting affection from a big smiling adult. I had to gently pry him off when we left his part of the orphanage.
He is one of many orphaned children we visited last Friday in Tijuana Mexico who have been abused and therefore taken away from parents, or who’s parents are in jail. Or, some of the children were abandoned due to the complex circumstances of the very poor who live in this border town. and health clinic.
These children were so happy when KIRF gave them food and art supplies, new clothes donated by Patagonia, as well as tennis balls and children’s clothing donated by our kids and their friends. The cute little boy (see above photo) from the Ciudad de Angeles orphanage – well off the beaten track of the tourist area of Tijuana- really enjoyed his new tennis ball!
The women come from the interior of Mexico trying to escape abusive husbands. They need a place that is safe for them and their children to heal from the domestic violence that has plagued them. There is a house we visited, deep in the hills of Tijuana that provides a safe haven for these women and their children so they can recuperate and gain the pride they need to start life anew. When we gave these women and children tennis balls to play with and nice clothes donated from Patagonia the children were so happy they could not stop bouncing around. The women’s joy to receive such nice things was so overwhelming that it filled the room we were in with many smiles and “Gracias.” We ended with a wonderful chorus of “Feliz Navidad!”
It was several weeks ago, while watching the A Christmas Carol that I thought, ‘There is still time for one more relief trip this year!’ So with the wonderful and skilled assistance of KIRF volunteers Mr. Ricardo Pinedo, Mr. Scott Bogart, and Mr. Israel of Tijuana we were able to do our last KIRF trip this year to help those in need in Tijuana, Mexico.
Thank you to all. Courage, Peace and Humility- And Happy Holidays to all of you!
Mark and Angela Kirwin
Kirwin International Relief Foundation