At Patronato Pro Niños, we think that the most important gift that you can give a child is the gift of health.
Consider the case of Norely, who has a condition called microcephaly. Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and gender. In Norely's case, this condition has caused blindness, and her brain has not developed correctly.
Alejandra, Norely's mother, heard about Patronato from her mother, who encouraged her to ask Patronato for assistance. In her words, "The support that Patronato has given us is enormous. Norely is now 3 years old, and thanks to all the treatments and rehabilitation she has received over the past 2 years, she has improved so much. Without the help of Patronato Pro Niños, I do not think we would know how to take care of Norely properly. The medication that she must take is costly. I am unable to work as my daughter requires constant care, support, and stimulation. Patronato is like family to us. They help immensely by providing emotional and economic support. We have to keep going and not give up hope. We see the improvement of each one of the children they assist. Just like we are proud of them for supporting us, I want them to feel proud about helping us".
Generally, there's no treatment for microcephaly, but early intervention with supportive therapies, such as speech and occupational therapies, have helped enhance Noraly's development and improved her quality of life.
See how you can help children, such as Norely. Your support today helps children who need it the most.
On behalf of the children, we thank you.
In the middle of the pandemic, when I opened my monthly credit card statement, I noticed that there were a lot of small charges for takeaway food, pizza delivery, groceries, and of course, Netflix and Amazon Prime. Lots of non-fiction book purchases. Club membership, on hold, of course. Monthly subscriptions to the national newspaper, the New York Times online, the Times of London, the Washington Post, Babel (for Spanish of course), plus the meditation app called Headspace: all of these are intended to get me through this enforced isolation without too many domestic incidents thereby hopefully keeping my marriage intact. We live in a quaint historic western suburb of Toronto, Canada, and I also admit to almost weekly forays to the local purveyor of overpriced but perfect fruits and vegetables and another gourmet foodstuff. Nary a bruised peach to be seen.
But what I did not see is a monthly donation to any charity. I see evidence of what most of us “Boomers” in the West, would call a “good life”; self-indulgent, focused primarily on food, entertainment, and self-improvement via fitness and lifelong learning. When I look at it dispassionately, my monthly spending habits benefit only me and my family. It feels selfish, especially given what is going on in the world now.
Please don’t misunderstand me: I think that I do give generously to not for profits, at home, and in San Miguel, the latter through Amistad Canada.
The local animal shelter, food banks, homeless shelters, public television, heart & stroke foundation, cancer research hospitals & foundations, the kids help phone, all benefit from my largess. But it is mostly done on an annual or event-driven basis. My process is to keep track of my giving from the previous year, and then make an annual donation, generally around Christmas time.
Since I volunteer for Patronato Pro Niños, as a Walking tour docent and writer, I also support their special campaigns, like “Hero from Home”, intended to make up the gap in funding since the Walks are on hiatus. As we said in our appeal, the medical/dental units may not be going out to the campo, and the Clinic is temporarily closed, but care, medication, and treatments for special needs children do not simply go away.
It is proven that regular monthly donations help not for profits like Patronato operate more efficiently through better planning and allocation of their precious resources based on secure funding forecasts rather than best “guestimates.”
So, having reviewed the situation, I think it’s time to reconsider my giving process and make it more of a giving habit. If you wish to join me in starting this good habit, please go to our donate now page, and indicate that you wish to give a monthly donation that fits your budget. It might make opening up that credit card statement a little less of a fright, and more of a benediction. And on behalf of the children, we thank you.
In times of crisis, we look to our leaders to give us direction, stability, and, most of all, hope. In San Miguel, we have a well-established group of exceptional NGOs, possibly the most successful group in Mexico. As it became clear that this insidious virus was not going to disappear quickly and would cut deeply and it painfully into the lives of the most vulnerable, the leadership teams of these critical organizations quickly galvanized into action.
After brief, urgent meetings, they determined that the best way forward, to maximize the impact of resources and to minimize duplication of effort, was to act together. So “Corazones Unidos” was born. No one leader takes credit for their work: as Nory Contractor says firmly, “There is no ONE leader in the CU group. We are ALL leaders. Every day every each of the organizations involved knows their role and what has to be done.”
Why is Patronato Pro Niños (Patronato) involved? Simply put, the need for food is a community-wide situation affecting the children we serve. We are involved because we have human resources; we can contribute in many areas where other organizations cannot. We are involved because we care and want to show solidarity and respond to this crisis. We strongly believe that not one person in San Miguel should go without food.
Here is the crucial contribution that Patronato is making right now: our drivers, who would normally be taking medical & dental personnel out to the campo, have taken up the call and are redeployed to pack and deliver bags of food. Our dentists are busily working from home, answering calls from needy families who want to know when & where the next food drop offs will be. One of our professional staff is leveraging her fundraising experience, creating all of the digital campaigns. She is also organizing bulk purchasing, as well as ensuring that all invoices and payments are documented to ensure accounting transparency.
Our operations team has been instrumental in helping set up the volunteer brigade and other logistics. Our own Executive Director, Nory, is the clear and confident English “voice” of Corazones, and she has been featured in many videos. As well she is involved in the fundraising efforts sending numerous personal emails requesting donations. Even our housekeeping manager, Lucy, has come forward to work at the food drop off centers along with other personnel from Patronato, such as the psychologist and many of the drivers.
We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful city, continually blessed with so much: now is the time for everyone who can, to step up and support our joint efforts. In the spirit of cooperation, we can work together towards a common purpose and take on the shared responsibility for the greater good of our beloved community.
March 12, 2020 was a day of celebration as the Amistad Canada mobile Medical-Dental unit of Patronato Pro Niños was proudly inaugurated. Almost 400 guests attending the 10th anniversary celebration of Amistad Canada's founding, saw the unit, parked outside the Instituto Allende.
Many toured the interior of the unit and met Dr. Ricardo Alamilla and Dra. Maricela Hernandez as well as the driver/dental assistant Reynaldo Hernandez.
The very next day plans to launch the unit were interrupted by the closing of schools and businesses because of COVID 19. Although the unit is not likely to be used until fall at the earliest, the Committee of Amistad Canada, which supports Patronato, continues its work. Funds raised by Amistad Canada volunteers in partnership with Patronato will support the salaries of the doctor, dentist and driver who will staff the unit.
The committee hopes to raise $15,000(Canadian) with a three-part digital series called Fall Fanfare, which has a little something for everyone. Tickets to Fall Fanfare will go on sale September 1, 2020.
On September 24, award winning Canadian singers, Bram Morrison (Sharon, Lois and Bram) will launch the series with an hour of songs in Spanish and English. Although Bram is chiefly known as a singer of children's songs, he has given many adult concerts, including many at the Teatro Santa Ana at the Biblioteca. Bram has received the Order of Canada and has 3 Juno awards. He spent many winters in San Miguel. Joining them is Amanda Martinez, who is the daughter of a Mexican who rode his bike from Mexico to Canada in the 1950's and settled in Toronto. Amanda has performed internationally, including during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the country of her mother's birth.
On October 1, James Creechan, a retired sociologist who has taught at the University of Alberta and at the Faculty of International Studies and Public Policy at Autonomous University of Sinaloa, will speak on Drug Wars and Cartel Violence in Mexico. His book on this topic is scheduled to be published later in 2020 by the University of Arizona Press. He will co-present with Dra. Iliana del Rocio Padilla who has also done extensive research in this field and lives in Mexico
Tired of turkey for Canadian or American Thanksgiving? Do you want to try your hand at Mexican cooking? The series will conclude on October 8, a few days before Canadian Thanksgiving, with a cooking demonstration with Chef Elia Herrera. Originally from Cordoba in Veracruz, she was formerly the Executive Chef of Los Colibris in Toronto. Chef Herrera uses both traditional recipes passed down through generations in her family and also creates new dishes bringing Mexican flavours to Canadians.
Around the world, charities have been hit with historic losses in revenue during COVID- 19.
Patronato Pro Niños de San Miguel de Allende A.C is not immune, the pandemic has led to the cancellation of many in-person events that we rely on for fundraising, and fewer supports for children with a variety of illnesses.
For 50 years, Patronato Pro Niños has worked to ensure the healthy development of children in our community. Our mission is to provide medical, dental, nutritional and psychological care for children and adolescents from economically deprived families within the municipality of San Miguel de Allende.
Under normal circumstances, assistance and treatments are provided onsite at the Patronato Pro Niños Clinic or in one of the specially equipped medical-dental mobile units that would travel to the campo every weekday.
If there are extraordinary or urgent conditions, the case is escalated to our in-house team who work diligently with their network of professional partners to coordinate follow-up meetings with specialists, provide prescribed medications, or sponsor travel to hospitals for additional testing, surgery or rehabilitation therapies. The team follows up continually to make sure that no child or family is lost or forgotten in the process.
Due to the pandemic, since mid-March we have had to close our onsite clinic and cancel the mobile units’ visits to the campo. This current crisis has made helping children anything but ordinary. We have continued to support our existing caseload of critical needs children. And every week add more children with extensive special needs.
On August 13, the Patronato Pro Niños Clinic was visited by a group from Protección Civil and was granted authority to re-open the Clinic under stringent conditions, for which the team has been diligently preparing for some weeks. Unfortunately we will not be able to visit the campo until schools reopen, hopefully sometime this autumn.
As well, you will have read about our staff’s involvement with other community organizations under the umbrella of “Corazon Unidos.”
There are many ways you can support our crucial work.
One of the ways you may not have considered is a legacy gift, a planned future gift that designates some part of your estate as a donation to a non-profit. Legacy gifts enable individuals to create a powerful philanthropic legacy by making a direct impact on the causes important to them. A bequest in a will can take the form of a fixed dollar amount, a specific asset, a percentage of an estate, a trust, or the naming of a charitable organization such as Patronato Pro Niños de San Miguel de Allende, A.C., as a contingent beneficiary. As September is also “will month” here in Mexico., with notaries providing special discounts, it might be the perfect time to consider leaving a gift in your Will to Patronato Pro Niños.
David J.S. Winfield
Patronato Pro Niños de San Miguel de Allende A.C.
Patronato Pro Niños de San Miguel de Allende, A.C. is a Mexican Non-Profit Organization, founded in San Miguel de Allende in 1970.
We provide medical, dental, and psychological care for children and adolescents from economically deprived families in the municipality of San Miguel de Allende.