What better Holiday present could I have asked for than looking into the eyes of a child and see them twinkle in excitement?

It all started with an idea from Cindy and Mike from Latitude 31° restaurant, as they wanted to provide a turkey dinner to the children at the Esperanza children’s home. Coordinating with DIF Director, Professor Samuel Ortega, and with Minerva Ramirez they were able to also include the Uncommon Women on Common Ground (UWOCG) Ladies.  First, Cindy organized a visit from Mr. Ortega to one of the meetings for UWOCG. The generous ladies who meet every month for networking, fun, food tasting and charitable work agreed to help by bringing different desserts to the lunch and providing the needed volunteers to serve, clean up and also play with the kids after the lunch. DIF was able to bring the children from AMOR de Peñasco home to Esperanza home, and altogether we had 51. This included the 36 permanent residents at Esperanza who range from 2 to 19 years old, and 15 children brought from AMOR, which takes cares of needy children from newborns until they turn 12.

The kids were first treated to a turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and bread lunch that seemed to have left their tummies more than full, but their eyes widened when they saw the delicious desserts that were beautifully presented. Cupcakes baked in an ice-cream cone and frosted resembling colorful soft serve ice-cream were one of the favorites, CandyCake donated the frosting for these cupcakes. There were also brownies, sugar cookies, cupcakes that looked like Christmas trees, cupcakes with chocolates on top, a giant chocolate cookie, rice krispy treats, cakes, doughnuts, and mini chocolate doughnuts. There were so many dessert choices that the kids would look at them unsure of which one to pick. We had to encourage them to just get whichever they wanted the most, big smiles and faces full of frosting ensued.

After all that food and sugar the kids were treated to a bit of fun: some made Christmas stockings and painted them with their own decorations, others were treated to face paintings, crafts were painted outside and the girls were also treated to mini manicures including little flowers or other designs on their very small nails. Teenagers brought their acoustic guitars and provided music for the event. More than a meal it was a nice day of sharing and feeling special for each one of these kids and young adults who have gone through a lot of hard times due to their family situations. Sometimes, feeling special on a day like this can be a life changing event for a young person.

Watching the little girls faces light up while we painted their nails and proudly looking at their colorful decorations was a real treat. Thank you for all the donors including the ones who gave their time for this event. Let’s make it an annual tradition!

There were also donations to Esperanza children’s home totaling over $500usd, many thanks to UCWOC and also to Numeros, Salas y Monroy, CandyCake and Dipac for their donations of food and items for the crafts and projects.

On January 6th, 2013 DIF has planned a big event for “Día De Reyes” any new toys for boys or Girls are greatly appreciated for this date. This is the traditional day when children in Mexico receive their presents.  The event will take place in the “Salon Chamizal” between 1PM and 5PM, there will be candy, lots of presents and invited artists for this festival, everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy the tradition, plus sharing the joy of the children as they receive the holiday presents. For donation information contact DIF Peñasco at (011-52-638) 383-6145 email: DIF_Penasco@hotmail.com   or bring presents directly to the offices located at the corner of Sinaloa and Ruiz Cortinez or to the office of the Rocky Point Times (marked for DIF Dia de Reyes).

Best wishes for 2013 and may all your dreams come true!