Thank you to our generous event sponsors!

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 11.16.39 AMWe had a blast sharing our Cinco de Mayo Celebrations with YOU last month! Over 300 of       our friends gathered with us at our Salem luncheon and Portland Happy Hour to celebrate the inspiring     work of Friends of Pimpollo. We hope you left these events feeling FULL… both from the delicious food     and the touching stories!

Here’s some good news to report…
These events raised nearly $59,000 for our programs! YAHOO! These funds are so incredibly important to the work we do. While this is a big number, we are still a little shy of our fiscal year-end goal. Little by little, we are closing in on that gap. It’s never too late to make a donation!.

Plain and simple…You are the reason we can continue our work in Southern Mexico. From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

There are so many people to thank! Because of generous event sponsors, our guests are able to  attend at no cost. This means every dollar raised goes straight to serving those in our programs.

At the Partner level, we’d like to thank Fischer, Hayes, Joye & Allen, LLC and VIP’S Inc. This was a landmark year having leading sponsors at this level!

 

At the Builder level, we’d like to thank Landmark Professional Mortgage Company, Coldwell Banker Commercial, Sandy Melhorn CPA, and Spring Valley Dairy, Inc.

At the Friend level, we’d like to thank Advanced Economic Solutions.

And finally, we’d like to thank our In-Kind donors, Allied Video, Berkshire Hathaway, Don Poncho, Business Printing, and Wavelength Studios.

We are so fortunate to have such a long list of supporters! Together we are changing lives forever through the gift of education. Kids will flourish!

A Bridge To Opportunity Video

Have you seen our new video yet?! We’re really excited about it! Thank you to our wonderful team members who shared their experiences with us for this project. It was fun working with you!

Would you like to join an upcoming team? Our next scheduled, open team will be from March 24th-April 2nd, 2017. Board Member and Team Leader Cecelia Monto will be having an info session about the trip on June 6, 2016 at 5:00 pm in Building 5 Room 250 at the main Chemeketa Community College campus.

February 2016 Newsletter

Check out the latest happenings with Friends of Pimpollo! Read our most recent newsletter here!

Exciting Additions to the Vicente Guerrero Community Center

Improved Community Center at Vicente Guerrero
Expansion Will Provide Opportunities for Students of All Ages

On January 5th, inauguration ceremonies were held for the new computer classroom at the Vicente Guerrero Community Center. Many individuals and groups came together to make different parts of this project possible. Among the many supporting partners attending the inauguration ceremony were representatives from INEA, the adult education program; Sikanda, a local organization in Oaxaca; local municipal government representatives; and representatives from an Italian organization who donated equipment and furniture for this project.

Bonifacio Luis Hernandez, the program director of the Oaxaca Kids Can and Vicente Guerrero Programs, reported, “Finally, we concluded the computer classroom, and I am still amazed. Thanks to all those whose contributions made this project possible. This project will be very beneficial to the community. In the month of February, we will be starting with classes and the children are really excited. The parents have come to enroll their children for the course and I am very happy by all the positive feedback that has been in the community. Their gratitude and the children’s faces of joy fill us with energy to keep working harder.”

New Computer Lab!One of our college scholarship students who lives in Vicente Guerrero, Marisol, recently spent some time over her holiday break at the community center painting and cleaning with other community members to help get this space ready. “It pleases me that the volunteers are working hard and are very committed to the people of the community. I am also very grateful for Boni, for his work in the community center and with the people. Good people are put in our paths to allow us to move forward.”

Meet Josue

We would like to introduce you to Josue.

Right now, he is in primary school. But one day, he wants to graduate from college and be a lawyer.

Then, he says he might want to be the president of Mexico.

And you know what, we really believe he could be. He’s already a great leader at his young age and loves to learn about new subjects. No matter what he chooses to do in life, we know that the education he receives will help him positively affect the communities he is a part of and help to make tomorrow a little brighter.

Will you invest in a brighter tomorrow today? We believe that Josue and students of all ages should have access to education. Right now, you can help us reach our goal of $59,691 before the end of the year. Browse our website to learn more about our education programs or click this link to donate today.

Thank you for believing in the power of education!

 

Looking for other ways to give?

Contact our office to learn about giving via stock!

Become a monthly sustainer! Sign up online or contact our office today to start!

Feliz Navidad

FOP Feliz Navidad

One of the most important gifts we will ever receive is the gift of education. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for believing in our mission. Wishing you and yours a merry and bright holiday season. 

Sincerely, 

All of us at Friends of Pimpollo

An Abundance of Gratitude

Dear Friends,Thank You Gracias

‘Tis the season for sharing what we are thankful for, and I am filled with an abundance of gratitude–and that’s not just because Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! For me, each and every day offers its own unique opportunities to give thanks and express gratitude. However, I just recently returned from my first visit to Oaxaca, where I had the chance to visit some of our programs and meet many incredible people. Since the timing happens to coincide with Thanksgiving, I would like to share my appreciation for the people who inspire and sustain me in my work with Friends of Pimpollo.

  • I am grateful for everyone who helps to make the Oaxaca Kids Can Program the tremendous success it is. Here at FOP, we are beyond excited to announce that a third school, Porfirio Diaz, is launching the OKC breakfast program three days a week for 56 students.
  • I am grateful for the parents in the communities we support who take initiative and work hard so their children (and they themselves) can benefit from opportunities that can come with education.
  • I am grateful for all the teachers who give of their time and energy so that they can plant the seeds of knowledge and encourage curiosity in their students.
  • I am grateful for all the members of our 66 teams who have accompanied the communities we work with and who have shared their experiences and our mission with others upon their return.
  • I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of all of our program coordinators in Mexico.
  • More than anything, I am grateful for all the students in our programs, whether they be a preschooler just starting their educational journey, or a 70-year-old grandmother receiving her certificate from the Adult Literacy Program. Your motivation to learn and grow inspires me every day.

I firmly believe the future looks brighter when the present is filled with education, and we couldn’t do all we do without the incredible support of people like you. Thank you. Please know that I am abundantly grateful for you.

All the best,

Laura Ruggles
Executive Director

October 2014 Newsletter

Have you been wondering what’s been happening in the Friends of Pimpollo world the past three months? Well, then, it’s your lucky day! Check out our October 2015 newsletter here!

10x10x10

10x10x10 Horizontal Banner

We’re launching our 10x10x10 campaign today! Are you asking yourself, “What is that??” With the 10x10x10 campaign, we hope to have 10 new monthly sponsors sign by October 10th (10-10). Why is this important? Recurring gifts provide a steady source of funding for our educational projects, allowing us to focus on the future! Help us reach our goal and become a monthly sponsor right now! Already a monthly sponsor? Share this opportunity with your network! Tell everyone what Friends of Pimpollo means to you! Even monthly gifts of $10 help to sustain our projects! Visit our donations page now or contact our office to get started today! Thank you for believing in the power of education!!

Oaxaca Kids Can – A Dream Bigger Than You Can Imagine

 
John Kerr with students 

If you were to ask Friends of Pimpollo founder, John Kerr, what his ambitions are with his “Oaxaca Kids Can” breakfast program, he would likely stop you right there and tell you that Oaxaca Kids Can (or OKC) is not a breakfast program. He would say this firmly, because it is an important distinction to be made within the organization he began 15 years ago.

Oaxaca Kids Can Students

OKC is, first and foremost, an education program. Breakfast just happens to be a key phase within the education program. Before anything else, prospective schools for OKC are evaluated based on several criteria in order to determine whether or not the program can be successful. The evaluation begins with school’s faculty—are they committed? Do the teachers truly care about teaching the students? Are they committed to helping them learn? If they are, FOP then looks to the community and the parents—are they similarly committed? Do they realize the opportunities that greater education provides for their children? Are they committed to fostering the intellectual growth of their own children as well as the children in their community? If all of these elements line up and the community fully supports the school and the faculty, then phase one can commence: daily breakfast.

This process first began in August of 2012, when OKC served their first breakfast to the students at Símbolos Patrios in Vicente Guerrero. At the time, about 78 students were coming to school every day, and thanks to a survey done by Sustainable Health Abroad, FOP discovered that 80% of those students were coming to school having either eaten nothing at all or only coffee and/or a tortilla. On a diet like that, developing children can hardly keep their eyes open long enough to be awake for lunch, much less be able to learn and retain knowledge throughout the course of a school day. But now, after implementing nutritious daily breakfasts, there are more than 140 children attending classes at Símbolos Patrios every day. On top of the increase in attendance, 75% percent of the students have raised their grades. Through the Oaxaca Kids Can program, Friends of Pimpollo is now providing a nutritional meal to more than 140 children at Símbolos Patrios, giving them the sustenance to not only stay awake throughout a full day of classes, but also providing them with the food necessary to foster learning and physical development.

However, what makes OKC more than just a breakfast program are the phases that follow after successfully implementing a daily breakfast program. Through OKC, Friends of Pimpollo has also built a computer center at Símbolos Patrios that opened in November 2014, exposing these children (and the entire community) to some of the wonders of technology, further expanding the reach of education for these students and giving teachers virtually unlimited resources for expanding curriculum to the children—and even the adults. There are now educational programs that reach from kindergarten education to adult education, effectively creating an entire community of educated individuals, from young to old.

New computer lab imagesThis program, as John will tell you, is based on the model of “Kenya Kids Can,” a program started by Steve Peifer and documented in his book A Dream So Big. Discovering Mr. Peifer’s work was an unforeseen consequence of boredom on John’s part. Having returned home from dinner and a movie with his wife, Karen, four years ago, John turned on the television hoping to find a basketball game. John proceeded to scan through the channels and serendipitously settled on a segment of “CNN Heroes” honoring Steve Peifer’s work with Kenya Kids Can. John immediately knew that he could take Peifer’s model (a proven success currently feeding and educating over 16,000 children in Kenya) and bring it to the extremely impoverished Vicente Guerrero community and its schools, which are situated around the perimeter of the Oaxaca municipal landfill.

That is where we are today, with ambitions to grow, much like Kenya Kids Can. We have identified and evaluated the next four OKC schools and are already providing breakfasts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the second school, Adolfo Lopez Mateos in Lomas de la Cuesta. Once we have the funding to proceed with daily meals, the next step for Lomas de la Cuesta is to construct their computer lab—the building site for that has already been determined. FollowingBreakfast at Símbolos Patrios that, OKC plans to also build and supply the community with a library—a phase that will be implemented into all of the OKC schools from hereon out.

After explaining all of this, John will then reiterate that this is not simply a breakfast program. Oaxaca Kids Can is actively changing lives. Vicente Guerrero is the poorest community in the Oaxaca City area, which is the largest city in one of the two poorest states in all of Mexico. Because of Oaxaca Kids Can, these children are not just getting breakfast five days a week—they and the entire community can pursue their dreams. So far, Friends of Pimpollo has helped the students of Símbolos Patrios to realize they now have an opportunity to succeed on a much greater scale. They are no longer a forgotten community, living among the landfill of Oaxaca City. They are learning. They are being educated. They have the opportunities they need to actively pursue their dreams.

Oaxaca Kids Can is not just a breakfast program; it is not even just an education program. Oaxaca Kids Can is a vehicle in which entire communities can realize and pursue their dreams. ■

By Ryan Bakken

OKC Students at Adolfo Lopez Mateos