One family's choice can impact others across the world!!
Valerie started For the Love of Mateo in 2012 when she found out that the orphanage where her son lived prior to him coming home in August of 2010 after a long 3.5 year long wait to bring him home, needed financial support to stay open. So she started a sponsorship program to help support the orphanage. Since For the Love of Mateo started, they have grown from supporting just the one orphanage to now supporting as many as 11 outreach projects/ or associations in Guatemala.
The first orphanage For the Love of Mateo started supporting was Hogar Luz de Maria. The money collected from the sponsorship program is used to pay for the rent on the home in San Lucas that they moved to a few years ago, in addition to going towards the salaries for the staff that care for the children, to buying groceries monthly. For the Love of Mateo sponsors and supporters were able to raise funds that paid for a new van to be purchased that would safely transport the children to and from court hearings, doctors appointments, and outings. FTLOM supporters have purchased a stove, a washer, a dryer, baby cribs, mattresses, bedding, toddler beds, outdoor equipment, and so much more.
Now, 5 years after For the Love of Mateo's initial sponsorship program was started; we have expanded into providing monthly financial support for a few other orphanages, a family-style home for teen moms & HIV positive children, a daycare near the city dump, multiple community centers, schools, homeless projects and after-school programs throughout Guatemala that are all near and dear to our hearts.
For the Love of Mateo was able to hire an in- country assistant that truly represents the heart of what we do. She is the heart and soul, the eyes and ears for us and all of our outreach projects on a daily basis. Our in country assistant has become like family to our project leads, our mission teams, our sponsors, and all of the children and families we serve in Guatemala. After being with her for just a few minutes, you can tell she has a heart for serving others. Our For the Love of Mateo Family is so very blessed to have her supporting us year round.
Valerie personally leads four mission trips a year to Guatemala filled with people that want to give back and serve children, families, and whole communities throughout Guatemala on what we like to call our Missions of Love. Valerie leads three teams in June back to back each year and another one in December. For the Love of Mateo now has a handful of past mission team members that have since become mission team leaders, that bring in mission teams to Guatemala to help us support our projects on a bigger scale all year long. In 2017, For the Love of Mateo will have 9 months out of 12 where a mission of love team will go to Guatemala to serve our outreach projects. If you are interested in joining us on a mission of love trip you can email Valerie at: email@example.com and she can send you the information on the upcoming trips planned.
For the Love of Mateo has also raised around $60,000 to help build and support The Backyard School in San Bartolome, Guatemala. It is a community center and school for children, moms, and families that live in San Bartolome. Valerie's mission of love teams provide everything from school supplies, to food baskets, shoes, backpacks, clothing, pajamas, to sewing machines & stoves for the moms to learn trades to support their families. In addition to providing the funds and supplies for large community gatherings like cookouts, soccer games, and Quinceañera celebrations for everyone in their community. Many families throughout San Bartolome have received bunk beds paid for by For the Love of Mateo supporters, team members, and sponsors. FTLOM has started two scholarship programs to help support The Backyard School:
1) The TJ Braden Scholarship Fund- which pays for 225 kids to go to school in San Bartolome by buying their uniforms, shoes, and school supplies to start the school year. If you are interested in how you can donate towards this scholarship fund, you can go to the Outreach Program Tab at the top of the this page and then choose , The Backyard School, then scroll down to donate.
2) The Tiffanie Ohmes Pay It Forward Fund for Moms- This fund helps moms in San Bartolome further their education so they can better support their families. It has paid for scholarships for moms to go back to school.
For the Love of Mateo also supports many other outreach programs in Guatemala that are near and dear to our hearts like DBO Ministries, Village of Hope, The Ninos Con Bendicion, Esperanza Juvenil, El Amor de Patricia ,Extraordinary Guatemalans, The Bunk Bed Project, One Way, and a mission family living in Guatemala fulltime. Some of these programs receive support monthly from us through monetary needs like; diapers, baby wipes, formula, school supplies, or groceries and some receive monthly financial support to help them continue the work. When we have our mission teams come visit our projects, we provide our outreach projects with everything from funds, to specific monetary items requested by our outreach project leads that each of our team members sign up to bring or fundraise for.
For the Love of Mateo just recently launched a sponsorship program to support the children of Esperanza Juvenil. Most of the children at Esperanza Juvenil live their full time and all of the kids that attend the school get their education paid for all the way through university. The money that For the Love of Mateo sends to Esperanza through this sponsorship program helps pay for medical care for the kids, clothing, supplies, and basic needs. All of these children have come from some form of poverty or difficult situation, and have also met the stringent requirements to participate in this program. These children really want an education and are willing to leave their homes and families just so they can have a chance at a better life. Each sponsor will receive monthly picture updates of their sponsored child and every three months will receive a letter scanned via email. All sponsors are also able to send care packages throughout the year if they wish. This program is most definitely one of our favorites! If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for one of the children at Esperanza Juvenil, email Valerie at: firstname.lastname@example.org and she can send you the information to set up a sponsorship.
Check out the recent blog to see what FTLOM has been up to, follow our For the Love of Mateo Facebook page to see recent picture updates and look into our sponsor a child programs to help us continue to do what we do to support the beautiful children of Guatemala served by the outreach projects we support.
Details for the next trip are ready
Please Contact Us if you would like to join us on our next trip to the Guatemala! Email Valerie Edwards at : email@example.com to receive info on the upcoming mission trip dates. To learn more about what we do, just copy and paste the following link to your URL: https://youtu.be/tNm7LpXHJ20
Here is a link to see the homecoming video of Mateo, ( the little guy that started all of this) after a 3.5 year long wait to come home to the US, just copy and paste this link to your URL: https://vimeo.com/14537861
Our Mission Statement
For the Love of Mateo is a 501 (C)3Non Profit started by Valerie Edwards. For the Love of Mateo’s mission is to provide financial support and love to a handful of orphanages, daycare's, schools, villages and after school programs throughout Guatemala. In addition, For the Love of Mateo provides mission trip opportunities to visit those served through our outreach projects in Guatemala on what we like to call our Mission of Love..