One Corner Compassion Projects compassion projects

Fantastic fund-raiser at Sparkling Hills!

September 13th, 2011

August 19th … A beautiful Friday evening….perfect weather and backdrop at Sparkling Hills Resort looking over Lake Okanagan….Melina Moore’s beautiful voice the soundtrack for another stunning sunset…15 of the finest wineries sampling their wares…and 150 guests drinking it all in……all while raising money to build a Reading Room outside Mexico City.

Thanks again to Ron Pennington and Hans Peter and the team from Bounty Cellars and Sparkling Hills Resort for organizing this great event!! We appreciated the great exposure and to date the event raised has $2500.00 towards the next Reading Room that PVO Mexico (www.contigopvo.org) is hoping to get started on soon. Thanks also to all the wineries that joined the event and to all the individuals who came out!

We will keep you posted regarding upcoming ways that we are planning to continue to raise the necessary resources!

Project Development trip June 2011

June 24th, 2011

“..to the open-handed, the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.”  Kahlil Gibran

I had the chance to go to Mexico City in June to strengthen the relationship between PVO Mexico, Bounty Cellars and One Corner.  I was graciously hosted by Clarissa Rivera and Alejandra Perez Roldan  from PVO Mexico.  They took me to the National Pediatric Institute to show me where they have laid the groundwork to create a Reading Room in the cardiology wing.  The children and awaiting parents have nothing to take their minds off their treatment, so PVO’s goal is to create an attractive space for the children to be able to relax and read.   They are also planning to build a second reading room in the outpatient area in an existing play area and fill it with books for all ages.

The next day we went to Atlacomulco, a small city a couple of hours out of Mexico City to visit the first Reading Room they set up, as well as the proposed site for another they want to build.  It was great to see the cooperation between a number of organizations that are working to provide holistic support for the communities they are serving.  The existing Reading Room is part of a facility that includes a dining hall that feeds 300 children a balanced meal once a day, a fully-equipped clinic and pharmacy, as well as a play area.  The children come for lunch, stay and play and read for awhile, and then go to the clinic to brush their teeth.  The mothers meet to learn some new skill that could be turned into a small business (ie. creating and selling art).  As well there is  an experimental greenhouse on site where they are taught how to grow a variety of vegetables both to consume as well as to sell.  In the six months the Reading Room has been running, over 180 children have signed up and received their ‘library cards’ and the books are hardly on the shelves, but in the hands and homes of the kids.

The site where PVO  wants to set up their next Reading Room is in the nearby community of Bobashi.  The director of the primary school, Adan Campos, has a vision of the Reading Room being a necessary support for his under-resourced school and has given permission for PVO to build one on the school property itself.   The idea is to not only promote reading among the children, but to give classes to the mothers instructing them in the importance and benefits of reading to and with their kids.

I was impressed with the energy and commitment of the Board of PVO as they re-create their organization and develop this new focus on reading for children and families and am grateful for their friendship and hospitality.

Bounty Cellars building Reading Rooms

May 8th, 2011

Ron Pennington, owner of Bounty Cellars in Kelowna (www.bountycellars.com) has agreed to partner with us and PVO Mexico (www.contigopvo.org), a non-profit organization in Mexico City to build Reading Rooms in and around Mexico City.  PVO Mexico has as one of its emphases, fostering reading and literacy for children in isolated areas.  To date they have built reading rooms in rural areas and one in an orphanage.  Their next sites are one in another rural area and one in a pediatric hospital.  Bounty Cellars has designated a percentage of the profits from the sales of a new label of wine towards these Reading Rooms.  In addition, plans are in the works to throw a fund-raising gala event to also raise money for these reading centres.

To solidify the details of these projects and our relationship with PVO Mexico, Scott is going down to Mexico City in June to visit the already constructed sites, and to see where they propose to put the next two.  We are extremely excited at these new partnerships and the momentum they are creating with us as well as with our new partners!

New partners!

April 8th, 2011

Exciting news again finally! We have begun a partnership with Bounty Cellars Winery who want to work with us on a project.  We are currently working out the details of what project and what that partnership will look like, but we are very excited about that.

As well we have been in conversation with PVO Mexico, a non-profit in Mexico City that focuses on building reading centres for isolated children, about working with them.  We will keep you posted as details develop!

Feed your discontent

November 17th, 2010

Not an original line but one I love and consciously try and integrate into my life. The idea is to figure out what is it in this world that disturbs you…that bothers you with its injustice….something that you wish you could address or change somehow. Maybe it’s poverty and homelessness close to home….maybe it’s an environmental issue….child labour….lack of water or education or basic health and medicine….Whatever it is, one tendency is to hide from it because we don’t feel like we can really do anything about it. It’s easy to look away and let all the other competing voices and priorities in our world pull us away.

Another option is to ‘feed’ that discontent….consciously do things that keep that issue in your mind. Read about the issue…watch documentaries….connect with individuals and groups that are trying to make a difference…volunteer in some capacity….intentionally dream about the possibilities….start saving some holiday time and some money and get exposed to the issue in a tangible way…or give to a project that you know about.

But don’t starve your discontent till it slowly dies ….. feed it so you are compelled to act!

A One Corner sighting

November 11th, 2010

Well that was a longer hiatus than I was expecting. Got tangled up in the process of getting our federal non-profit status. Have to reapply but have been learning a lot about what we need to do and looking for some counsel to increase our chances when we try again.

In the meantime, have been writing to the community development director of a tiny municipality in Aguascalientes regarding a housing project that they were running. It looks like it’s nearly finished but they have some new projects next year that I will be finding out more about.

As well, have been connecting with two other non-profits in Mexico: Kalli-Timochiasque and PVO. The first focuses on medical and health issues in small indigenous communities in Puebla, while PVO has refocused their organization to working specifically with children. They are currently builidng library/literacy centres also in small rural communities. We are looking into some partnership possibilities with either or both of them.

My goal is to go on a quick exploratory trip in the beginning of 2011 and set up a project for the summer. I will be updating more regularly again!

Give a house for Christmas?

October 19th, 2009

So I heard about this project the Mexican government is running for its most marginalized people, called “Tu Casa”. Basically it works like this: If a family in Mexico is living in poverty, but are able to come up with $1000.00 pesos – the federal government will pitch in $40,000.00 pesos, and the municipal government will put in the balance necessary to build a 25 sq metre home for that family.

So I did the quick online exchange math and figured out that it comes to just over $130.00 (Cdn dollars) for a family in Mexico to have a solid, dry, new home!!! $130.00 dollars!!! How many ways can you put that into perspective for yourself?

So, I’m just confirming some details with a contact down in Mexico, but have the idea that we find a way to give 50 families new homes for Christmas! That’s a pretty sweet give!

I will keep you posted, but if you are already interested, please reply to this post letting me know that, and let’s get some families inside for Christmas!

Love…..peace…..caring. (by Dia)

October 17th, 2009

Me,my brother,and my mom were watching our favorite show then all of a sudden I get up go get some paper and markers and start writing.This is what I wrote…Wuv, luv,love whatever you want to call it or however you want to spell it still means the same thing.
….Peace. One word, yes, but it means a lot. Helping others and getting along is the sign of ….caring.
…caring can be anything from helping others to being nice.

There have been lots of wars in the world, and I don’t know if there is a war happening right now! I feel sorry for all those soldiers that had families waiting but didn’t get to see them again, some only had a picture, and some didn’t! For all those people who died in wars, I’m sorry to you and your families. (Diante, age 9)

Dia’s thoughts about the camp….

October 17th, 2009

I think that going to the camp was sooo cool.There were a couple girls
there who weren’t from the camp three older girls, and three younger girls who were about my age they were 6,7,and8. Their names were,Nicole,Fernanda,And Michelle.The campers were really nice too.
There were only 3 boys and a lot of girls.I loved the camp but most of all I LOVED going to Mexico.I think that the camp was a great experience for all of us,because the campers got to do things they probably won’t ever be able to do again. (Diante Klassen, age 9)

the big C.

September 6th, 2009

Well we are back and if I were to label my feeling after our inaugural project as an independent organization, it would be that of deep contentment. On the most important level, we created an opportunity for some teens with cancer to participate in some new and fun activities and just enjoy some freedom. 14 young teens, 2 staff from AMANC, and 1 paramedic joined my kids and I, and our host family for a total of 28 who took part in Campamento 31 Pies (feet, not pastries).

Contentment came first in seeing the fun that we were having together, and knowing that this was the first trip ever for some of these teens, and that without it, most would never have had the opportunity to go quadding, horseback riding and to a huge waterslide park. A more sobering perspective of course, was knowing that there were some teens who may not have the opportunity again.

We have stated that we value finding places to assist that are under-resourced, and that we want to create partnerships with those from the area we are working in and again I find contentment in how we addressed those values.

The teens we brought were from more marginalized communities, and from homes and families with few resources; our host family live in the community we invited the teens to; our cooks were from the same community; the money raised to take the teens to the waterpark came from a group of young adults who work at Proctor & Gamble in Mexico City who wanted to help; the t-shirts were designed and donated by a young adult in Colima; and all the staff and leaders were from Mexico.

Support in the form of financial resources did come from Canada as well, and without it the camp wouldn’t have taken place. But to be true to our values, we intentionally didn’t do it all ourselves, and to be frank, we couldn’t have!

We have heard back from the staff of AMANC, and the teens and their parents, and all have expressed their desire to make this an annual event, and their contentment to have been able to participate.

And that, of course merely adds another layer to my own.

(Check the projects page soon for pics of our camp, and this blog for some comments from my kids – Diego, 11 and Dia, 9 – regarding their perspective of the camp)