A few years ago, I had the opportunity to introduce a young philanthropist to our community. Back then, Robert Ellingson asked his mom and dad if he could request backpacks and school supplies instead of gifts for himself at his upcoming birthday party. His younger sister Mia joined in and they celebrated their birthdays together, and this gracious gesture netted about 36 backpacks stuffed with various school supplies. They brought these backpacks down to Rocky Point and personally delivered them to children throughout the barrios. Robert and Mia have been visiting Puerto Peñasco since before they were born, and as they grew, their mother and father have exposed them to all aspects of our bi-cultural community. Having met here and later married on the beach in front of their Princesa condo Roberto’s parents Cynthia and Brian have numerous friends in Peñasco; Friends from all sides of the tracks that have shown Robert the blessings that he has, and thus, spurred a desire to help those less fortunate.
…and, Well, He’s baack!
Robert just celebrated his 10th birthday and since he is now all about sports, he altered his quest, and he has upped his challenge. The Ellingson family showed up last weekend with just under 20 brand new soccer balls, and pledges from several friends for a whole lot more coming soon. But wait, there’s more. Along with the balls came literally hundreds of uniforms. Robert’s secondary challenge was answered by his dad, who approached a Phoenix area school with his son’s story. It was then and there noted that the school had just upgraded their uniforms and had a closet full of the last couple of year’s inventory. This collection included uniforms from every sport played at any typical US high school, and filled the bed of a pickup truck.
Brian contacted me to inquire as to how to insure their unique acquisitions would find their way into the right hands. The logical destination here is our new Youth Sports Department. This volunteer program headed up by Rick Busa provides sporting goods to local underprivileged schools and organizations as an effort to keep kids out of gangs and encourage healthy alternatives.
Robert wasn’t finished. As we were discussing his gracious haul, he expanded the thought. “Why don’t we challenge everyone to do this?” So off we went to “Rosie’s Ramblings”, the English radio program that airs here on Saturdays from 12:00 -2:00, where he again voiced his challenge. After several discussions and lunch at the Boo Bar, it was decided to take this “Pay it forward” attitude to the next level. At lunch with the Ellingson family it was obvious that I was the only one that gave nothing, so here I am putting his challenge on paper…
So here it is, from the heart of a 10 year old. If you can give, give… Anything
If you have sports in your blood or connections on that field, go deep and score something. If it’s music in your head, think outside the box step and maybe there’s an instrument gathering dust in the attic, or maybe you know the guy with the keys to the closet where the band uniforms are stored. (Yes Rocky Point has a new ill-equipped marching band.) Someone reading this might have the prescription for our medical equipment needs. And, school supplies are always on the Dean’s list too… If you can’t think of anything, but you have time, there is a need for that as well.
If you were inspired by a 10 year old with a huge heart and want to step up to the challenge, please note that there are numerous places to donate. The following list is but a few of the respected locations that can receive donations. Any one of them can help you find a place to target your time, based on your specific talents or interests. Several can provide US tax deduction documents.
Rocky Point Times
(480) 463-6255 or local 383-6325
Family of GOD Church
Realty Executives Rocky Point
Youth Sports Foundation
Here are some of the photos we took this past weekend. Thanks again for helping coordinate Robert’s dontation. He LOVED being interviewed on the radio and is fired up to generate more donations. Let us know if you have any problems opening the photos.
The first photo is one of the whole family outside the radio station. The second is one of Robert and Mia that same day. The last two were taken at our friends Oscar and Leticia’s house on Sunday. There’s one photo of Robert with their two older boys Oscar Jr “Oscarito” and Eduardo. There’s also one picture of Robert with all the boys who received soccer balls. These were neighbors, friends and family of Oscar and Leticia’s.
A little bit about Robert and Oscarito. The boys are only 5 months apart in age. Robert doesn’t speak any Spanish and Oscarito doesn’t speak any English. What the boys do share is a love for “Football/Soccer”. Both boys play on teams. Robert’s team here in Phoenix is Inferno and Oscarito’s in Rocky Pont is Arsenal. It’s great to see that the boys have a good friendship depsite the language barrier. Every time they get together, they immediately hug then head outside to play some soccer.