One of our give back initiatives took Style Saves overseas to Medellin, Colombia. Fellow Style Saves member Joseph Vega and I went down to Colombia for a weekend, where we arrange a give back event at a small orphanage. For years my family has supported the orphanage, Casa Hogar Nazareth, in Santa Elena, a tiny, mountain top town on the East side of Medellin. To get to Santa Elena, we have to schedule it in advance and map out our route since the ride will take us through some of the roughest parts of Medellin.
Once you we arrive at the orphanage, we’re greeted by Father Abraham, who runs the orphanage, teaches at a local school and is one of the most popular priests in Santa Elena. Father Abraham and the orphanage staff, which consists of 8 friars, care for 30 children ranging from ages 2 -16.
The orphanage isn’t like the orphanages you’d find stateside with private rooms and facilities. Casa Hogar Nazareth has been expanded gradually – when there’s money to buy brick and concrete – and includes a small chapel, library with dated, donated books and an open backyard.
Built into the hillside, Casa Hogar Nazareth has three floors, however most of them lack roofs and the windows are just open frames in the side of the building. After school, the children are taken to the library area where that can continue their studies and read some of the donated books. For entertainment, the children are allowed a maximum of 2 hours of movies, seen from a donated projector, before the projector burns out.
When we contact Father Abraham, he mentioned that the students, 24 males and 6 females, and friars were in dire need of shoes. Since our good friends over at BucketFeet and Toms donated new sneakers and school shoes for our back to school event, we were able to provide the students with 30 brand new pairs of shoes.
AGiven the chilly weather of Medellin, which is in the Antioquia valley of Colombia, we were also able to gift the students and friars with Galloway windbreakers, perfect for the unpredictable weather.
In total, we were able to take four huge duffels with new and donated outfits including footwear, bags, clothes and accessories for all the boys and girls.
We’re thrilled to share how far our efforts have taken us and the ability we have to help children in need worldwide. To learn more about Casa Hogar Nazareth please feel free to contact me at: Jeffrey@StyleSaves.org