As the saying goes, I heard from a friend who heard from a friend, who heard from a friend…about an amazing children’s crisis center located right here in Rocky Point. The center was set up a few years ago to serve displaced children and provide a temporary place to stay. The children range in age from infants to 12 years old and end up at Amores de Peñasco due to neglect, abuse or abandonment by their parents. They stay at Amores de Peñasco until a stable, permanent home is found for them. Occasionally, if the situation has approved, the children are returned to their parents or sometimes they are placed with another family member or they go to an adoptive home. The children can stay for as little as one night or as long as a few years. As I usually have an eye to spot the needy and jump right into help, I had heard about Amores de Peñasco and immediately called “Tia Katy” to see what I can do to help out the crisis center and most importantly, the children.
“Tia Katy”, aka Kathleen Duncan of Buckeye, Arizona and Las Conchas here in Rocky Point was introduced to me and offered to give me a tour of the facility, meet some of the children and see what I can do to reach out to help make these displaced children’s lives remotely better. I made a call to my good buddy, Roxy Pancake who is always eager to help the needy here in Peñasco and she readily agreed to go on the tour with me. So off Roxy and I went with a load of donations from the USA packed into the back of my Polaris Ranger. I really was not sure what to expect or what they needed, but I figured staples such as diapers, wipes, children’s clothes, books and toys could always be used. We arrived at Katy’s house in Las Conchas and as she drove us over to Amores de Peñasco, she told us how she became involved with the crisis center. Katy had vacationed and lived in Rocky Point for the last 25 years and in September of 2012, she received a calling to find a way to reach out and give back to the community she has grown to love over the years. Katy had heard about the new facility and had experience working in this type of facility in the USA, so she literally knocked on their door and asked if she could volunteer. The workers at the crisis center told her yes and she committed to come in every month or so to spend a couple of days helping out. It only took a couple of visits for her to fall in love with the kids and the staff at the shelter. She also realized that the children were the emphasis at the center and having coming from neglected or abandoned homes, the last thing they needed was another person coming into and out of their lives on an inconsistent basis. So, she committed to travel from her home in Buckeye, Arizona to travel to Rocky Point once a week and volunteer for 2-3 days a week. Katy says in best…“In spite of the fact that the children often come to the shelter under tragic circumstances, I have found it to be a very warm, bright and happy place and I love every minute I spend there. “Katy readily adds “there is no doubt in my mind that I have received so much more than I have given over these past two years and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to help care for these beautiful Amores de Peñasco.”
Upon arrival at the crisis center, Roxy and I were introduced to the staff and were remarkably surprised at the cleanliness of the facility and the total organization of everything in the center. The children were TOTALLY priceless and loving. Each one of them completely lit up when they saw Katy and you can SEE the love exuding between the children and their Tia Katy. The facility has a couple large play areas, two large dormitory style bedrooms set up in pinks for the girls and blues for the boys. There is a small outdoor playground, dormitory style showers and a sitting area for games and television…and everything is spotless. It is clear to see that everyone involved with the center cares about their job and most of all the beautiful children.
To say that Kathleen Duncan is a “tia” to these children is a large understatement. SANTA (Saint) Katy would be a more accurate name for her. With her fundraising efforts and love for the children and everything in between to make the center run smoothly, Katy is truly an incredible example to all of us to show what ONE person can truly accomplish and what a change ONE person can make in the lives of so many others especially the ones that need it the most. As I was leaving Amores de Peñasco, I felt truly blessed to have seen the impact Katy has made on other’s lives! As you read this, please find a place in your heart to think of what you can do to make a positive impact in our world in the near future. You have the POWER to do so and I know you will! Amores de Peñasco has a wish list as follows:
Shampoo and Conditioner
Please find it in your heart to drop off a couple items on your next trip to town. Donations can be dropped off in the bins at any of the Sonoran Resorts, The Rocky Point Times Office, The Lighthouse Restaurant, The Las Conchas Office or the Remax Real Estate Office on Fremont. I have taken laundry soap and fabric softener off of the list as the fine homeowners over at Bella Sirena have graciously volunteered to support the center with these items. THANK YOU BELLA SIRENA! You have an amazing HEART!
May your December be filled with all the joy you can receive and please remember as you are holiday shopping to think of those less fortunate than you and select even ONE gift for someone in need. You do not even need to know them…but the smile on their face upon receipt shall be priceless! HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL and, oh boy, I almost forgot, CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BROPHY COLLEGE PREP SWIMMING & DIVING TEAM who won the Arizona State Championship for the 27th year in a row and to COACH OF THE YEAR, PAT O’Neill! Way to go BROPHY! GOD BLESS TO ALL & I look forward to seeing you at the beach and swapping stories about what we did to help make our world a better place! ADIOS AMIGOS. Marco