Sunday, November 1, 2009

Charities & Volunteer Opportunities in Rocky Point



A lot of expats and regular visitors to Puerto Peñasco enjoy the opportunity to give back to their adopted community, and there are many ways to do it. There are special events organized individually, local charities such as food banks, charities that support local schools, international organizations like the Lions Club and Red Cross and more. So whether you choose to provide help with cash or donations of supplies, or you get bored in your retirement and decide to volunteer your time and expertise, there are plenty of opportunities for you.

Below is a partial list of recognized charities/organizations in Rocky Point, and all of them will be grateful for your help. I'll update the list as I learn of more. Also keep an eye on the Upcoming Events page, because many of those fun events (such as bathtub races, golf tournaments, concerts, etc.) benefit some charity or pet cause. You can feel good to be improving lives in Rocky Point and have a great time while you're doing it!

Without further ado (and in no particular order):

  • 2 Fish Ministries: After preaching about Jesus multiplying the 2 fish and the 5 loaves, Pastor Stan Tedrow shared his burden to feed the hungry with the congregation of Peñasco Christian Fellowship and 2 FISH became a reality. 2 Fish began on February 24, 2009. In their first 11 days they fed 674 meals to the hungry. Currently they have three feeding sites, and feed hungry people 6 days a week. They are feeding more than 10,000 plates per month!

    Contributions are Tax Deductible and GREATLY APPRECIATED.

    Please make checks to: Mission Heartbeat and mail to:
    • Mission Heartbeat
      P.O. Box 1032
      Lukeville, AZ 85341

    They also appreciate donations of food and clothing, which can be dropped off to:
    • Maria (638-105-8534) at
      The Black Dog
      Freemont #154, 3 blocks from the Red Cross
      Puerto Peñasco.
  • Adopt a Classroom: Mark and Barb, of Rocky Point Boat Trips, believe firmly that the fight against poverty begins with education and they have put their money and efforts where their mouths are. Adopt a Classroom provides everything from basic school supplies, to computers, copiers and even chalk boards. They collect all donated items at the Rocky Point Boat Trips office, then twice a year deliver those items to the schools, along with various supplies purchased from cash donations they've collected. In reality, their efforts go beyond the official twice-a-year thing, but that's another story.

    100% of the cash donations received for the "Adopt A Classroom" program go to purchasing supplies for the school, and all administrative costs, including the cost for their website, are provided courtesy of Rocky Point Boat Trips.

    If you would like join them in the effort to help some of the children of Rocky Point get some much needed school supplies and help give them a better school to attend, please don't hesitate. You can even adopt a class (like second grade or sixth grade, etc., and donate specifically to that classroom!) Any cash or material donations you have to offer (or expertise in such seemingly mundane things as repairing air conditioning or fixing faucets, etc.) will be greatly appreciated. To learn what is needed and how to donate, plus get more details about the work being done for the schools of Rocky Point, please visit their website at http://www.rockypointclassroom.com/donate.html
  • Esperanza Para los Ninos (aka Casa Hogar para los desamparados): Five adults care for 30 (or so) children at this home, children who would otherwise be homeless and desperate. Staffed by volunteers, they provide security, food, clothes, education and lots of love-- and in terms of remuneration they receive precious little in return. But this is not about money for them (one staff member gave up his management job at a Wal-Mart Mexico to care for these kids; his wife is the main cook). It's about love.

    Note that the website for this charity (linked above) is run by a U.S. contact on behalf of the orphanage and is not an "official" website. As the owner of the website says: "These children do not need to be rescued. They need love and fresh food, and when they have been out of milk for a week, the order needs to be reversed."

    See also this website, with further information: http://www.esperanzachildrenshome.com As quoted from this website: "Guillermo Zapata the Director of Para Los Ninos has delegated Rick Bills a member of Desert Breeze Community Church the US Coordinator to allow EsperanzaChildrensHome.com to become the focal point for US interests in an effort to try and allow God's work to be most beneficial to the children of Esperanza." They can be contacted at EsperanzaChildrensHome@cox.net

    Visitors and donations are gladly received at La Esperanza, and so are pen pals. Visiting the home is a wonderful gift to the children, but taking time to send a child a birthday card and maybe a Christmas card is a very special gift. It may be the only mail they ever get.

    To write to these wonderful children use the address below:
    • Esperanza para los ninos
      P.O. 1024
      Lukeville AZ 85341

    To learn how to donate, when the children's birthdays are or how to find the home if you want to visit, go to http://www.esperanzaparalosninos.com/ or http://www.esperanzachildrenshome.com It could just change your life.
  • Penasco Children's Foundation: Founded in 2003, PCF is a 501(c)(3) approved non-profit entity in Puerto Peñasco dedicated to enriching the lives of the children in our city. They offer assistance in four specific ways:
    • By providing medical assistance to local families who cannot afford to pay for their children's health care needs;
    • By assisting families whose children are in economic duress;
    • By offering education assistance to children; and
    • Assisting in the general enrichment of children's lives
  • PCF holds a number of fundraising events throughout the year (though they don't keep their website updated very well), and they do a lot of good. To learn how you can help, contact:
  • Manos de Ayuda, Inc.: A recognized 501(c)(3) Tax exempt corporation, Manos de Ayuda is an organization of Physical Therapists, Health Care Professionals, and other compassionate volunteers based in Tucson Arizona, dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to disabled children in Northern Sonora, Mexico. Founded in 1997 in response to Hurricane Nora and National PT Month, Therapists and other volunteers from Tucson joined an ad hoc group of residents of Puerto Peñasco "Helping Hands" to assist with relief and rebuilding efforts after the hurricane destroyed hundreds of homes. From this joint effort came the idea of "Manos de Ayuda", a non-profit corporation with organizations on both sides of the border. Manos de Ayuda includes volunteers from both countries working together to provide much needed services, supplies and equipment for a variety of humanitarian programs.

    This group of volunteers from the U.S. and Puerto Peñasco shares in a cooperative effort to provide the following services:
    • Medical and rehabilitation services, supplies and education.
    • Coordination of volunteer services, housing and training.
    • Repair and construction of homes and community facilities.
    • They are also providing donated equipment and therapy supplies to the Tohono O' odham Nation in Arizona and assisting with the relief projects of other non-profit agencies.

    Manos de Ayuda conducts monthly free clinics in Puerto Peñasco. They have developed a clinic through the donation of mobile homes and former mobile clinics on land donated in one of the poorest areas of Puerto Peñasco. These clinics provide evaluation and treatments for children with multiple medical and therapy needs. Children come from Puerto Peñasco and many other areas of Mexico. They also assist with obtaining medical interventions for children with severe problems, through other organizations.

    To find out how you can help, even if it's just to transport donated items to Rocky Point, visit their website at http://www.manosdeayuda.org/
  • AIM (Association for International Ministries): Founded by Juaro and Rose Silva in 1997 to help meet the spiritual needs of Rocky Point, AIM's first project was the building of a small church, Mision La Hermosa in 1999. Since then AIM has branched out, providing food and medical care to those in need as well as spiritual support. Still, that wasn't enough and the founders and volunteers longed for the day when they could better impact the cycle of poverty experienced by so many families in the city. They looked for ways to help families have the means to provide for themselves, and they finally found a focus for their efforts. Today AIM is building a community center in Rocky Point, called La Esperanza Para Nueva Vida (Hope for a New Life) Community Center. This center will provide day care, vocational training, a library that will be open to all in the neighborhood, a medical and dental clinic staffed with doctors and dentists from Mexico and the U.S., and other services to provide for medical needs on a regular basis.

    In addition to that major project, AIM offers the opportunity to sponsor a child, help build basic housing for families, and is doing wonderful work in the barrio Oriente, operating food drives and distribution and many other helpful programs. To join AIM for a weekend trip to bring supplies (and help build a house?), please contact Harold Tuttle at 602.320.8056.

    For more information on how you can help/donate/volunteer, visit http://www.aimaz.org/
  • Lion's Club of Puerto Peñasco (Cueva Club de Leones): The Lion's Club periodically supports at least seven programs to benefit those in need in Puerto Peñasco. Through fund raisers and renting of their facility for weddings, quinceñeras and other events, they are able to help the local people by providing recycled glasses for senior citizens, a special program called Sight First, which offers cataract surgery to seniors and Seeing Eye dogs.

    They also provide monthly scholarships for children in need of books, uniforms and food for school. Ophthalmologists from Phoenix and the State of Sonora offer eye exams (1200 per year) to local children. They collect blankets, clothing and household goods which they distribute to the community living in the cardboard homes in the outskirts of town, help ill individuals into medical institutions, present groceries and blankets in December, and they sponsor festivals for king’s day and children’s day. The list goes on and on.

    The annual Taste of Peñasco, a major culinary fiesta held in November, benefits the Lion's Club so you will be doing a good thing as well as entertaining yourself if you choose to attend.

    The Lions meet on Thursdays at 8:30 PM
    AV N Y CALLE 16
    PUERTO PENASCO
  • Larry D. Large Foundation: Since it's founding in 2001 the Foundation has provided in excess of $1.75 million US dollars in support to the community of Puerto Peñasco. The Foundation has no expenses for personnel as ALL STAFF are volunteers.

    The Larry D. Large Foundation was created in 2001 as a US tax deductible 501(c)(3) charity to give back to the community, primarily in Puerto Peñasco. The goal of the Foundation is to assist the people of Puerto Peñasco in five principle areas - Education, Health Care, Family Support, Community Support and Housing.

    If you are interested in donating, please visit their donations page. They are accepting donations of clothing, medical supplies: such as bandages, sealed over-the-counter medications and vitamins. They also accept donations of used sporting equipment, such as balls, bats, gloves, etc. You may ship your donations to their offices in Tucson at 2470 W. Majestic Parkway, Suite 120, Tucson, AZ 85705 (telephone 520-547-1970) or bring them by the Tucson or Puerto Peñasco office. Every little bit helps! For more information visit http://larrydlargefoundation.org/
  • DIF (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia): The DIF is a national social service organization that offers medical aid and diferent services for needy familias. The National Director of DIF reports directly to the President of Mexico and has traditionally been the First Lady of Mexico. Local chapters of the DIF report to municipal presidents and governors. The head of the local chapters is traditionally the wife of the mayor.

    The DIF is supported solely by donations. Throughout the year they hold many public fundraisers in Rocky Point, such as the Black and White Ball, a Cancer Awareness Walk, etc. to raise money. Among its many contributions to the community, the Municipal DIF recently completed construction on the children’s shelter for abused children, which is now fully equipped and with cutting edge technology. Currently the organization is raising funds to build a Hospice for cancer victims.
    Phone: 383-6145
  • Red Cross (Cruz Roja): The Red Cross provides 24 hours emergency services, for Mexicans and Americans alike, with a fleet of ambulances and trained paramedics. As is the case elsewhere in the world, they also provide all kinds of services for the population after disasters such as floods, fires, etc. These essential and often lifesaving services are FREE, but Cruz Roja does need your donations since it receives no government funds. Donations can be dropped off at their office on Blvd. Freemont or via their website at
    http://www.cruzrojapenasco.org.mx
    Please call for directions. 383 2266

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