Let's play a game! And you could win!

Often you hear from us, but did you know we also LOVE hearing from you!

So lets play a game:

We want to know a little more about our community and those that partner with us or simply follow along.

So at some point this week, would you reach out? Send us an email or facebook message with the subject “Let’s play a game”, or find this post on instagram and comment with answers to these 4 questions!

  1. What’s your name?

  2. How did you hear about us?

  3. Where are you from?

  4. And what do you do for a living? Or something you do for fun?

Thats it! Simple right? You never know, we may just pick someone to win Marked merchandise as well!

Can’t wait to hear from you!

A Solution to the High Levels of E-Coli

This has been an exciting month and a half for us, as we have had the privilege of hosting Operation Blessing (Operacion Bendicion Mexico) out at our village bases. They along with our team have been hard at work tackling two main projects. The first being nutrition and putting in a community garden (more to come on that soon) as well as a water purification project.

They have come in with their staff and tested all the water throughout the communities we reach. Both in homes, schools and at our bases. Through their testing they have found that we have some of the highest levels of E-Coli they have on record.

IMG_5285.JPG

Though we are not surprised by that, we are working together to find a solution.

This week, they installed 4 drinking fountains throughout the community. One at each of our bases and one at two separate local schools. The system will work off of rain water, and will go through a multiple filtration process before being purified.

IMG_5284.JPG

We will use the non-purified clean water for washing dishes while we will use the purified water for everyday drinking and usage.

Our hope is that as we educate and introduce the community to clean water we will once again begin to see a healthier community as a whole.

If you would like to be apart of our water project, you can make a donation here. Every penny helps.

You Can Help Shift Culture for Just $16

Marked Coffee  exists as a part of the broader Marked Community. Being a justice-based organization, with a mission to break cycles of poverty among the orphan community and those that are at risk in Latin America through a model of empowerment. With every bag sold we move one step closer towards our dream of emptying orphanages by creating sustainability and empowering lives. Our call is to the lost and broken, our heart is for the orphaned and forgotten, our cry is for family and our mission is wholeness that breaks cycles.

IMG_0156.JPG

If you study the culture and history of gang violence, and read up on the stats of those joining daily, it is alarming. But if you dig deeper, search for the root, and find the starting place in many of the hearts, you find hope. 

IMG_4369.JPG

You will find that many joined their gang/banda/cartel, not because that little boy or little girl always dreamed of being a member as a child, but because they had no place to belong, their family had no other option because it was the only "trade" in their town, they were sold to put food on the table or they were working the field and found themselves witnessing something, giving them the option life+serve or death. Generation after generation they were groomed that this is the only way to exist. 

We believe we can change that. We are already beginning to see the transformation in the communities that we reach, and Marked Coffee is just one of the ways we see these communities transformed. When you purchase coffee, you are empowering transformation. You are giving hope to a child that there is another way, you are providing meals to families so that they don't have to sell their child(red), and you are preventing child labor because the parents are the ones now with the jobs. Meaning, children stay in school, families stay together, while we work to see wholeness brought to their lives. Hope is restored, and a new normal emerges. Breaking the cycles that were before us.  

IMG_5011.JPG

We are hopeful. We can see past the current state. We see the transformation rising. Will you be apart? 

 The details: 

Marked Coffee: Chiapas, Mexico, Light-Medium Roast. Notes of dark cherry, brown sugar, and winter spices. 

Each bag is freshly roasted on the first Tuesday of every month and will be shipped in a store safe bag with freshness preserving vents. 

Monthly subscriptions are available with free shipping!

Wholesale also available!! 

Order: Marked.org/store  

Follow us on instagram: @markedcoffee 

We are Seeing Transformation Before our Eyes.

A couple weeks ago, I (Jaclyn), sat out in our field as the sun set. As I sat watching the kids play, I heard the Lord speak so softly to my heart. Do you remember? Do you remember the first time you stepped foot on this land? Do you remember the violence, and the fear that was so evident throughout? Do you remember how desolate it was? And how dark the nights were?

IMG_1574.jpg

And then I heard Him say, but do you see what I did when you prayed? Do you see that for every prayer you've prayed, I was quick to answer? I sat there and went down the list of the specific prayers I had prayed, and saw how everyone of them had come to pass.

IMG_3966.jpeg

You see, our field HAS been used for torment and terror. It HAS been a place where drugs and lives HAVE been sold and taken. But today, I sat back and I watched redemption reign. I heard the sounds of littles running up and down the field. Children on the swings and climbing up and down the slides. I watched as the soccer balls were kicked back and forth and rather than everyone quickly dispersing as the sun set. They stayed. They were calm, filled with joy, they felt safe. They were home.

Sweet, sweet redemption. They are home.

IMG_3976.jpeg

I love how the Lord restores things. I love how a simple prayer filled with faith changes the atmosphere. I love that through example and dreams mindsets are changing. That the desire for more is happening. And more than all, I love that nothing is too far gone that cannot be redeemed.

This is transformation.





Kids Day 2019 Recap

We cannot start this note with anything other then first thanking a few incredible groups and individuals who made Kid’s Day 2019 happen. First of all, our team, you went above and beyond. To Rachel, who helped organize and oversee the day! To Lincoln school, and all the many volunteers who gave hours out of their day to come and serve. To Origen, Mapfre and all the individuals who provided over 2,500 balls (one for each child) and hot dogs. To the local government for our tents and spending time out of your busy schedule to come and be with our kids. And to our incredible key partners for once again making the day possible through your partnership in giving.

Thank you. Together we are shaping a generation.

IMG_4050.jpeg

For those of you who don’t know, three times a year (Kids day, Back to School and Christmas) we host events that honor and celebrate those choosing to attend school. It is our simple way to show the community just how important it is to educate your children. And that opportunities arise for your children (and their futures) when you choose to educate rather than sending them to work at the young age of 8. So for us, Kid’s Day , is one of those days.

We started the day early, arriving as the sun was coming up, prepping for the day ahead.

At 9am our first group arrived. We welcomed them in via a large stage where we had live music, and a group of students from Lincoln school dancing and inviting them into the party. The kids then split and could go anywhere on the field and basketball court. There were 19 different stations the kids could choose from with volunteers ready to assist.

IMG_4161.jpeg


Our stations consisted from soccer to basketball, relay races, duck duck goose, tug a war, dodgeball, bouncy houses and more. The favorites of the day hands down were musical chairs, face painting and pop the balloon.

Our last group left around 4:00pm, and with each group that left they were given their own ball to take home.

Scroll*

The kids, parents and teachers alike were so thankful for another opportunity made possible by Marked and its partners, and we simply cannot thank you enough for once again saying yes to these kids, our communities, and their future.

For more videos and photos from Kids Day, check out the highlights on our instagram page @hellomarked

One year.

Just the other day, I was looking through old pictures and planning my upcoming trip when I realized this past week marked my one year back to Mexico.

One year of incredible trips. One year of building new relationships and deepening the old. One year of jumping in with both feet knowing that every trip brought significant increase, but required unmovable faith.

This year has brought a year of expansion and connection like no other. A year Marked by His goodness and faithfulness. A year that will forever be etched in my mind as a year that transformed me from the inside out.

This week, I am back, celebrating kids day, but slightly feeling like this is a big party celebrating that what was tried to be used against us, God once again used it for good.

If you are on instagram this week, follow along, or check out our stories of this years kids day 2019! Can’t wait to share more with you in the weeks to come!

-Jaclyn

  • Scroll through pictures below.

Easter break turned into a Campout

What a fun couple of weeks we have had!

In Mexico, we celebrate Holy week as well as Easter meaning most everyone has 2 weeks off of school and even some have work off throughout the country. For us at Marked, it means our weeks are busier. Filled with more kids, more hours, but also more fun.

Our rockstar team decided it would be fun to not only do their regular routine, minus a few, but also host a few “camp-outs” at their house throughout the weeks.

The first weekend of break, our directors hosted the sweet and spunky girls from our girls home. Where they spent the weekend hanging out, eating and running around their house. It was a packed house surrounded by some of the girls we love most. We celebrated one of the girls baby showers, all the while their director and team began getting their new ‘temporary’ house set up and moved in for when they returned.

02754f06-ad96-47de-b012-ff952e36bf14.JPG

Meanwhile, over at our village coordinators house was a house full of teen girls from our villages. They too spent most of their weekend seated around the table, sharing stories and having meals together. Such a contrast to this week.

After drop off, pick up happened and we swapped girls for boys! Our soccer team + plus a few, camped out in our directors lawn. Played games, visited the local town and simply had ‘bro time’. Half the week the boys spent with Karlisa at their house, while the other half of the time was spent helping Carlos build a wall at Origen church in the city where our offices are. Did I mention we also had some kids detoxing during this time?

88a90a29-9042-4ca9-b8ee-e06a7daf3c6a.JPG

Our directors and coordinators are our heroes, and the best part of it all was they said “honestly our hears are so full.”

These kids are gifts to us, and we are thankful for every moment we have together. Weeks like these are marking weeks, significant in not only their lives but ours, and we don’t take a moment of this for granted. Thank you to everyone of you who say yes to partnering with us, and making weeks like these possible. You are championing something great.



Miracles.

Happy Easter weekend! We hope your weekend is filled with family, friends and those you hold dear to your hearts. That memories would be made, and miracles would happen. 


Here is our own miracle story from this week. 


Over the past month we had noticed that week after week one of our boys had not been showing up for meals, for soccer, or for any of the special events. As we continued asking around they kept telling us that he was just sick. So last week, Sam, our Village coordinator decided to stop by his school to see if he was there and find out what was going on. To his surprise, the teacher informed him that ‘M’ had been out all month. 

“All month?!” Sam, decided then he needed to go visit ‘M’ to see what was going on. Because none of us knew where ‘M’ lived, Sam went door to door until finally he reached his house. Upon arrival, Sam was met with devastating news. 

‘M’ was dying. 

The family informed us that ‘M’ had been in the city all month in the hospital, getting test after test ran, with no resolve. This typically strong, full of life, energetic 12 year old, now laid on his family’s bed in the fetal position. Weighing no more than a 6 year old, frail, in excruciating pain, delirious, and no longer recognizing those he loved. His precious body was shutting down. 


Sam gathered the family, and began to share about the resurrection power of Jesus. Together they held hands, and prayed over ‘M’, that he would not die but live. And that he would be healed in Jesus name. 


As Sam got ready to leave he let the family know he would be by every day to bring them food to eat and to pray with them until they saw a miracle.  


The NEXT DAY, Sam arrived at the home with a meal for the family and to everyones surprise the family greeted him and said “come in and see ‘M’”! He was up moving about the house, talking to everyone, and had full color back in his face. Everyone was shocked. His body was coming back to life. 


The following day, before Sam even arrived at their door, he saw ‘M’ outside PLAYING! Playing!! 


‘M’ was completely HEALED. 


Be encouraged this Easter weekend, that God’s not dead but alive and desires to show you His   intense love, His unwavering mercy, and His infinite power. That He is for you. 


If you need a miracle in your own life, or in the life of someone you love, we are praying for you this week. That you would see the goodness of the Lord. 


Happy Easter. 

Days for Girls.

A few months back, we noticed one of our girls was regularly missing classes and activities every month for about a week, and then would appear the following. We decided to stop by her home and ask her mom where she had been. Her response was something to the extent of “she has the family curse that has been placed on all the women in our family. For about a week every month she bleeds, but the weird thing is, is that it stops and she doesn’t die. It has happened to the women of our family for generations.”

That simple statement lead to us asking more questions, only to find out that family after family were unaware of a menstrual cycle. Unaware of how you got pregnant and unaware of the regular workings of the female body.

IMG_3063.JPG

Heartbroken for the generations of women in our villages that stayed silent, simply because they were afraid that people would know (think) they were “cursed.”

Our team began brainstorming and discussing how we could approach the topic without breeding shame, when a representative from Days for Girls reached out to come and share among our communities.

IMG_3061.JPG

A few weeks later we agreed to partner with Days for Girls to host a 3 week class on menstrual care and the female body. Their mission: to turn periods into pathways. Increasing access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. Beautiful right?

Next, was who we were to invite. We sat down with our team and complied a list of women who we knew among the community that would trust us with this topic, but also who has influence with their neighbors to begin to teach and speak into the situation at hand, and encourage them to come to future classes.

IMG_3055.jpeg

The ladies filed in one by one. Until the last of the chairs were filled.

We received such great feedback from our first class and cannot wait to see how this simple class transforms not only their lives but an entire region in the months and years to come.

Thank you, Days for Girls, for investing in our community.

How Are The Homes (Orphanages)?

It has been awhile since we last updated you on our homes. Due to the nature of the children’s situations and the different homes having different guidelines we often don’t get to post much about them.

But just because we can’t post doesn’t mean we aren’t spending time weekly in each of them.

People often still ask, are these your homes? And the answer is no. We partner with existing homes (orphanages) throughout the state of Jalisco to see that each of the homes and their children succeed to the best of their abilities. Each home gets a custom program based off their greatest needs. Each year we sit down with the directors and have an annual review and evaluation which means some of our homes simply receive extra hands to help, while others receive tutors, protein and produce, Bible classes, mentorship, respite and more.

We work hard in partnership with these homes to see them succeed, but more importantly to see the children thrive.

Math classes with Ms. Jacque

Math classes with Ms. Jacque

Often, more times than not, once a child leaves the home due to aging out or other more unfortunate circumstances, we are the first they reach out to. The connection our team makes with the children is so vital to their long term success. Knowing that they have a connection to the “outside world”, that is a positive influence and who is on their side is often what keeps them from being another statistic on the street.

We love these kids fiercely and are forever grateful for the directors and homes for allowing us to pour into their kids, and simply be another example of what healthy love looks like.

Want to meet the kids and hear their stories first hand? Come visit us in Guadalajara! You are always welcome.



New Things Coming

It has been a busy couple of weeks for us as we have been dreaming, scheming and planning alongside our latest partners, Pink Ever After.

Pink Ever After is an online store based out of east Tennessee whose mission is fueled by their passion to give.

Their owners, Whitney and Seth Coyler joined Jaclyn and the Marked team this past week in Guadalajara along with another long-time Marked Partner, Angel to create something incredible.

Every day, the Coyler’s went above and beyond to sow generously into our communities through our mission of empowerment in the form of sustainability.

We spent our days driving, visiting with shop owners, and learning the stories of the mamas, whose lives are about to radically change because of this East Tennessee company and a stay at home mama from Seattle.

Though this trip was preliminary in nature, WOW was it successful.

While in Guadalajara, Pink Ever After purchased Marked TWO leather sewing machines, and a whole lot of leather tools, while Angel gave of her time in creating and developing patterns for our new leather line!

We are just blown away by the generosity and heart of our partners once again. Dreaming big along side of us, and putting tools in our hands and the hands of our communities. We could not be more grateful.

Though we are a few months out from any launch, we cant wait to take you along the journey.








Nutrition Classes with B.E.S.T

For a while now we have been discussing with our team the goal of introducing nutrition classes to our community center location with these goals in mind:

3351b0fd-7bf9-4a9d-8a6e-4d08184d8c28.JPG

That the classes would be:

  1. nutritious

  2. cost effective, that they can make the recipe at home on a tight budget

  3. it can easily be modified to add protein when available

  4. educates

  5. and that they have fun while doing it

And today we believe we did just that.

Thanks to our friends at B.E.S.T Academy, they sponsored the entire day. From early morning shopping in the market, meal planning, to having their nutritionist and staff come along, they prepped, purchased and taught the class to our first group of mamas.

Today, they made a vegetarian “tinga” with shredded onions and carrots, sautéed with spices and a tomato sauce put over a tostada with avocado. Even 6 months ago I don’t think many would have even tried the recipe, but today we sat around the island as each enjoyed what they had created.

Miss Rosa

Miss Rosa

Miss Rosa and Ms. Kat then took time answering questions and dialoging about other recipes they would like to learn how to modify, and we set another date on the calendar for the next class.

We are so thankful for B.E.S.T Academy and all they have done and continue to do to pour into our communities through education and heart.

Thanks, B.E.S.T Academy!

41505234_1972139312847155_3349170842645823488_n.jpg

A Year Later : Marked Soccer

*A note from our director in Mexico 

In just a few weeks, we will be celebrating 1 year with our Marked soccer team. 

And what a year it has been. 

Never in my life have I seen more growth and desire to belong than I have in these boys. 

Never in my life have I seen the impact of family form so quickly and so intentionally. 

And never have I seen such dramatic change among a group of boys and men so quickly. 

IMG_1112.JPG


This past week, we celebrated by taking the boys back to play against our friends at Colegio Once Mexico, the first school to say ‘yes’ to the risk of hosting this group of boys from the ‘barrio’. We drove them to the Chiva stadium in the city to dream once again, and shared a meal around the table at The House, the same thing we did less than a year ago, for their first time out of the villages where they grew up. 

Left to Right: May 2018 - February 2019

But what was so profound was reflecting and celebrating with them about how far they have grown and changed. 

“A few days later, as I sat on the sidelines of our weekly Saturday games, one of the boys who started the year with us but chose to go to work in the city instead of taking us up on college courses came and sat next to me and began asking about each of our players on the field and where they are now:

Four of our boys are all in their last year of secondary school (middle school) and will start prepa (high school) in the fall. One is working with us part-time and going to school part time to make up for 17 years of missing out on an education. Another is going to school part time as well to pick up where he left off when he dropped out of school 2 years ago, but is now also attending carpentry school where he not only is learning how to be a master carpenter but was just asked to come on with them for a couple hours after class because of his outstanding work ethic and skills. In addition, we have another who still struggles to stay out of trouble but we continue to cheer him on at every success. He just signed up for GED classes with us and will keep encouraging him until he finishes.And lastly, Gabriel now helps coach the team, he will start barber school in a few weeks, in addition to volunteering his time keeping our boys looking fresh. He dreams of opening the first barbershop in his village, where he can support his family and little boys to dream and grow in wholeness. 

IMG_9724.jpg

And as I sat almost awestruck at what they’ve accomplished in a year, I turn to see someone else listening as well. ‘R’. He is a brother, cousin, friend, and a bad influence to several of our boys. I half jokingly commented to them both: “see I always accomplish my word.” ‘R’ very bold faced replied that's the way it always should be. He said it as if not one single person in his life has ever lived up to what they said they would do. But that he was dead set on if he said it, he will accomplish it. He acts as though he hates everyone, won’t depend on anyone, do what I want, when I want, how I want and there is nothing anyone else can do about it. Except here he was, yes on his own terms, but here he was on my side of the story. Better yet where he is beginning to realize he’s been written into life, a story so much bigger than his own and where the words and promises spoken over him are a part of God’s story and that His Word is unfailing, everlasting, and “pursuing him like that Shepherd and that one sheep.” 

IMG_9422.jpg

Then he wanted to know about ‘P’ and why he has stayed. The newest member of our team. He is from the neighborhood our new community center is in, only 3 miles away from our original base but considered a completely different barrio. He goes to school with a few of our other boys, since it’s the only middle school in the area. Though they were not friends, our boys had invited “P” to come out to practice one day when they noticed he was having a hard time at home. ‘P’s dad left their family for another life in the US. New family, new wife, new kids and left ‘P’, his 3 other brothers and sisters, and his mom to fend for themselves. They knew ‘P’ left school early once a week to go to a doctor that helped him with his anger and questions. But they insisted and brought ‘P’ to practice a few weeks before Christmas. And has been with us since. 

After practice we pile all the boys in the truck and drop them off one by one at their homes, because of the threats they receive walking home at night, down the only road that runs through the villages. Since this team was inaugurated by the death of one of their young men, I always made a point to yell at them out the window Te quiero ‘J’ (I love you, J), Te quiero ‘R’ and so on as each one hops out of the back of our truck. 

IMG_1111.JPG

One day I couldn't make it to practice and the boys took it upon themselves to make sure each one was told that they were loved as they were dropped off. And now 10+ boys ride down the road unashamed to tell each other they love one another so much that they yell it out the window, each and every Wednesday and Saturday. Family. That's what ‘P’ found, thats what each of these boys have found. Family. Not by blood. But by choice and love. And that is what has kept them here.” 

Changing the Culture of Education

This past week, our team call focused heavily on the testimonies regarding our newest program launched last month. 


Homework club. 


Stories have been pouring in of the impact the teachers and parents are seeing. Our class sizes have doubled in size each week since the end of January, with 4-one hour classes each week, hosting an average of 40 children per class. 

IMG_1031.JPG

One 6th grader came to us to let us know that his father had enrolled him in both the morning and evening school to try and give him a boost in his education, but rather than a boost, it has caused so much confusion and set backs as both teachers are teaching different things on the same subject. This, along with many other reasons has caused him to fall to a 2nd grade education level. 

Unfortunately, he is not alone in this. Every student who has walked through our doors are years behind where they should be. But this is changing. 

In addition to students having no value for education, they are lining up an hour early to ensure they have a seat at the table. 

We are seeing the culture shift happening right before our eyes. Keeping kids in school, educating a community and empowering them for a bright future has and will always be a goal of ours. And we are excited for the changes that are coming. 


IMG_1030.JPG

-If you are in the greater Guadalajara area and would like to volunteer and become a tutor send us a message at lopez@marked.org 

-If you are local to Jalisco and would like to donate school supplies, books, and other resources to stock a classroom, please send us a message at lopez@marked.org 

-If you have a heart for education, but can’t be there in person, sign up today to be a key partner to help with the programs.  http://www.marked.org/keypartners

Together we are making a difference. 

How your morning cup of Joe can transform a life.

Have you tried our coffee yet?

Did you know that for every bag sold, you provide 10 meals to a child in need?

IMG_0263.JPG

If you are new to our coffee or our community, welcome! Marked coffee exists as part of the broader Marked community. Being a justice based organization, our mission is to break cycles of poverty in the orphan community of Latin America through a model of empowerment. With every bag sold we move one step closer towards our dream of emptying orphanages by empowering lives. Our call is to the lost and broken, our heart is for family and our mission is wholeness that breaks cycles.

IMG_0016.JPG

By purchasing coffee, whether it be a single time, monthly subscription, or the 5lb bag for your business, church or home you are partnering with the mission to see sustainability brought to a community, children being fed and another tool that is keeping kids in school.

To order, go to marked.org/store or click the link below

Transformation through Education

We have always said, education changes lives and impacts culture. But in order for education to be valued in an environment where it has been seen as a hinderance to working and earring an income from a young age, you must model its importance.

IMG_0451.JPG

Over the past 5 years, we have done just that. Education has been in constant conversation, and on the forefront of our minds. We have invested in the schools, spoke with parents, directors and government officials. We have spoken highly of and encouraged our kids about how education can shape the coarse of their lives, and set them and their families up for the generations to come. A foreign concept by a long shot. The idea that education can help?

IMG_0305.JPG

But the fruit of our efforts is being seen. This year, the village towns have had their highest enrollment on record. 2,460 children enrolled in school, and growing.

And just this past month, we had 30 adults and youth who most never attended even kindergarten sign up to receive what would be equivalent to their GED.

Everyone of our staff moms, and even our soccer boys are learning the importance of what education means for their future.

We know this is just the beginning, and we cannot wait to see how this ripple effect with continue to spread throughout the communities.

Christmas Part 4

Rounding out our Christmas events we had 2 special groups that also needed to be celebrated.

First our mamas group who work and volunteer weekly in our village communities, their home towns. They are our extra hands each and every day, seeing that thousands of children get fed, that the store runs and the jewelry gets made.

They are the mamas who are being taught through our weekly programs, and they are the mamas that we hold near and dear to our hearts. These mamas are our family.

The second group was our Marked Soccer team. These boys, as you have heard us say time and time again are near to our hearts. They are Marked. Every week in order to be apart of the soccer team, they must serve their community. We have seen so much growth in these boys over the past year. They didn’t know that they were getting a special party, and yet all month long they have served tirelessly. From pulling all nighters to make sure nothing walked away during our Christmas event, to being Santa on the big day. They carried, cut, glued, cooked, ran errands, played with kids and more all the while not knowing they too would have a special celebration all their own.

IMG_0616.JPG

After the big week of events came to a close, we watched them play their final soccer game of the year. Tied. 3-3. We gathered them together, and at the end invited them to their very own “posada” at Carlos and Karlisa’s house the following week instead of practice.

To see their faces being invited ‘home’ was priceless. They played games, tackled the “human piñata” to get their candy, and ate till their hearts were content. We invited a friend to come and share his story with them, we read the Christmas story, and simply connected. After all was said and done, gifts specifically for each boy, with their name on the package was handed out and opened. Everyone more excited than the next. Simply because the anticipation was being built. For some these were their first Christmas gifts ever given. And for all they were the most extravagant gifts they had ever received. From shoes, to soccer balls, hair gel to socks, it didn’t matter, they were thrilled, and we were elated to give it to them.

Christmas for us was one for the books, because of what it was for each of the ones we celebrated with. It marked us, and reminded us of the simplicity of what it is to give, give time, love and that no matter how big or small of gift to give is better than to receive.

They joy we gained in seeing their faces closed out 2018 for us as another year grateful for each of you who make moments like these and the other 364 days a year possible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the gift you gave this past year in partnering with us.

You’re changing lives simply by saying yes.

Christmas Part 3

When you have thousands in your network, Christmas is a month long event. And though we are now well into January, we are just finishing up and starting to get back into our ‘normal’ rhythm.

However, we still have a few more events we wanted to share with you!

IMG_9282.jpg

So here is Christmas part 3.

Every Friday, we have hundreds of kids who attend our weekly programs, consisting of a meal together, a lesson, an activity, hygiene education and more. It is a time for us to learn not only names, but stories, who their families are and a more detailed look into their personal lives. This is a time for us to not only give back, but to slow down and learn. It’s a place of safety, and laughter. A place where these children and families alike are learning more in-depth what it means to be a family. And for our team, where they learn to slow down and love deeper despite the heartache and pain of the stories they are now entrusted with.

Our team requested we do something more personalized for the hundreds who attend weekly, so they set off and made a plan and executed beautifully. They partnered with our local church in Guadalajara, Origen who personalized and stuffed well over 300 boxes filled with toys, clothes, hygiene products, food and more.

When the day came, we began our weekly activities per usual, only this time they had one surprise after another wrapped into their usual activities. I don’t think there was a quiet moment this entire day no matter how hard they tried. The squealing could have been heard for miles. At the end of each groups activities, we piled them all inside one of the rooms in our village base, sat them down, and told them that someone who loved them had gone out and hand picked gifts specifically for them. That their names were known.

IMG_0648.JPG

One by one, we called out their names, the room filled with cheers and applause. Gifts were given. And soon after ripped into. Every child excited for the next. Laughter, tears, and tangible excitement filled the air.

Thank you’s and hugs and a quick hurry out to show their mamas what they were given, as the next groups lined up outside waiting for their turn to see what all the excitement was about.

Next week: Christmas part 4

IMG_0616.JPG






Christmas Part 2

After weeks of hard work and dedication from our team, of both staff and volunteers, our rooms and stations were ready to go, with our team of mamas cooking in the kitchen.

Our staff and volunteers splitting up into 10 different stations.

Each station stocked with another surprise.

Then we waited, until all of us sudden you saw (or should we say heard!) hundreds of children in their uniforms filling the streets with white paper bags now decorated for Christmas. The first school had arrived!! Let the party begin!

Each school that arrived was greeted from different volunteers and organizations who had also made this week possible.

We then had them split into groups, and the children and teachers dispersed. Some heading inside to make snow globes, play Christmas bingo with marshmallows, and to hear/ act out the Christmas story all the while filling their bags with goodies and drinking hot chocolate. While the others were headed down to the field to meet Santa, make Play-dough Christmas trees, get their faces painted, eat a yummy burrito, make a candy cane reindeer and play different games.

The laughter could have been heard for miles.

With each group that left another came.

For 2 full days, every hour on the hour a new set of faces would come across our stations. But this time, rather than it just being faces, we knew their names.

Next week: Christmas part 3

IMG_9282.jpg



Let's Talk about Christmas Part 1.

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone of you who made Christmas for our kids possible this year. We celebrated big with over 2,500 children in our villages alone, not including all our home visits.

Jacque, our home lead, specialized each Christmas celebration to the homes request. For our baby house that looked like hundreds of diapers and formula gifted all the way to our girls home where they requested Samy and Pati’s tamales, Christmas cookie decorating, Christmas caroling, a photo booth and games, a piñata and more. Ending the night with a big game of hide and seek in the dark.

48273135_210585883190328_4261254830678343680_n.jpg

For our villages, we split the celebrations into 3 days. Each day seeing almost 1,000 children. The Monday prior to their event day, our crew headed to the school with paper bags to invite the kids to their big Posada (Christmas party). We handed out white paper bags as their “ticket” in that was to be decorated with their teachers prior to their arrival.

48369002_385387348866486_4667733434674708480_n.jpg

Inviting the children was more than we could have imagined. We added 2 new schools to our programs this year, many of which only eat a meal or two a week (for most that is the meal Marked provides through our school lunch program) let alone do anything for Christmas, and so seeing their faces and their responses to the invite will forever mark us. From mouths completely dropped to the floor, to tears, to kids laughing in hysterics because they were so thrilled, it was a moment we will never forget.

Moments like these are made possible by you! And for that we are forever grateful.

Next week: Christmas Part 2.

D202YLsRTQqqwoM84f8wUA.jpg