Friends of Cozumel Back to School 2018
This year, 500 sets of school books, uniforms, fees and supplies were taken by little hands of all kinds to prepare Cozumel’s children for their education. Generous donations also made it possible to provide scholarships for 39 students pursuing higher education. The Friends of Cozumel served a record-breaking number in 2018--over 500.
This year started with an orientation luncheon for the 51 volunteers. It was my second time with the US/MX team, and I was greeted with open arms and distinctly mid-western hors d'oeuvres. The group's leaders, Larry and Karen, quieted everyone and summarized accomplishments from last year before noting current demands and the week’s agenda.
Apart from the main event of distributing school supplies, there were several other charitable activities and worship services held: a pool party for speacial needs children, oceanfront worship services and a food drive to feed local families. At the end of the week, everyone was exhausted, but this group fills every moment with charitable fellowship.
Over the weekend--from Friday until Sunday--families arrived to DIF park to receive their children’s school supplies. The first day was full of grateful smiles on both sides as kids were fitted with shoes, backpacks and stationery. The next morning, their distribution records showed that just ONE family had been absent--and they had called ahead to make alternate arrangements. It was almost unbelievable that every family had been served without the volunteers breaking a sweat--metaphorically speaking.
There was plenty of literal sweat, but the weather didn’t discourage anyone. The wry complaints were betrayed as jokes by the smiles of shared satisfaction. Our joy was multiplied thanks to the thoughtful preparation of volunteers and the gratitude of recipients.
The operation has recently attracted the attention of many new volunteers and even popular Christian radio station K-LOVE, which may result in a future collaboration.
Even in short bursts of hectic activity, everything was handled smoothly. “We’re short on white shoes, size 9 and black backpacks for boys,” Karen alerted Larry motion to the notepad. “I’m away,” he’d respond with the self-assured baritone of an action hero. Then he’d jump into his boxy blue truck and motor off to restock the teams.
As the week drew to a close, the Friends of Cozumel met at perennial favorite, La Cocay, for a farewell dinner. It was another great year for all in attendance and we look forward to seeing another big group in 2019.
Let us know if you'd like contact information for the friends of Cozumel. They are also easy to find on Facebook and the organization accepts donations from visitors to the island all year.
Thanks for reading!