I am so excited to launch our new For the Love of Mateo website! I hope you all love it as much as I do!
My mission for starting For the Love of Mateo (FTLOM) has grown into so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. We have been SO BLESSED to have such incredibly loyal supporters that have locked arms to provide any needs that come up with any of the outreach projects that FTLOM supports.
We have added a few new projects in Guatemala that we will be serving on our mission trips as well as on a monthly basis; Hogar Anna Vitiello - an orphanage for children that are HIV positive, and Hogar de Ancianos Cabecitas de Algodon - a nursing home for the elderly and abandoned in Antigua, Guatemala. We have also added on a monthly donation that we are making to The Ninos Con Bendicion which provides for them to pay two gardeners that have children in their program to work full-time on the community garden they started to give fruits and vegetables to those in their community, nursing homes, and orphanages who are in need. FTLOM has also started providing funding to pay for breakfast for The Shoe Shine Boys through DBO Ministries. This is a new outreach that we are starting to support this month and will be sharing pictures of their weekly breakfast paid for by our FTLOM family.
We currently have eight mission trips planned through FTLOM in 2019 and are looking forward to serving all of our projects on each of these trips. In 2018 we started helping to raise funds to pay for homes to be built for families in need, and were able to provide homes for 4 families, and provide funding to help pay for a portion of a new home to be built for a family that lost their home in the 2018 summer volcano eruption. Last month we were able to send funds to pay for another home that was paid for by FTLOM’s December 2018 mission team members through funds they committed to raising & gifted to me as a gift ( funds to build a home in my honor.) I can’t think of a better gift that I have ever received! That home will be finished up by March when Doug and I will travel to Guatemala. We will get to visit the family and provide them with a few home gifts and groceries for their family. We plan to visit some of our new projects and to work on some future projects that FTLOM may expand into supporting.
FTLOM just recently hired Gaby Matute to help me with the organization of sponsorships, communication, newsletter, and social media updates. Gaby has travelled to Guatemala multiple times as a FTLOM mission team member, and she is also on FTLOM’s advisory committee. Her and her family will be serving as translators on our June 2019 mission trip. We are so excited to have her helping! Gaby also inspired FTLOM to start providing an opportunity to expand our support outside of Guatemala to help the people in Venezuela. Gaby collects food and supplies to send to Venezuela monthly, and now with the help of FTLOM she can collect donations to be able to do even more shipments to help more people in need. We have a strong group of Venezuelan FTLOM supporters, so we love that we can help give back to their country as well!
"I hope that I will always remember the heartache of seeing what I have seen on my travels in Guatemala, on the news in Venezuela, and right in my own community. I believe that each one of us as the opportunity to make a difference in this world and although we may not be able to help everyone, if we can make a difference even in just one life, we should do that." V. Edwards
A quote I read last year in a book I was reading that really touched my heart and that I remind myself of daily is, “ Break my heart for what breaks yours.”. I want to always be open to seeing the needs around me and for FTLOM and our FTLOM family to be able to do our part to make a difference in this world, however small or great that is. I hope that I will always remember the heartache of seeing what I have seen on my travels in Guatemala, on the news in Venezuela, and right in my own community. I believe that each one of us as the opportunity to make a difference in this world and although we may not be able to help everyone, if we can make a difference even in just one life, we should do that. Life has a way of flying by and we get busy with our own stuff, I want to remember to never take what I have for granted. From our freedom, to our healthcare, to our ability to get food and our basic needs met; we have so much to be grateful for. So as I close this , I encourage you to keep your eyes & heart open and know that YOU can make a difference! There is no amount of money donation, time volunteered, or donation given that would be too small. It takes a village to make a difference like we have with FTLOM, so thank you for being a part of that!
I invite you to take take a little time to browse our new website to see where everything is located. Our plans are to keep you updated monthly on all that we are doing throughout the whole year. Thank you all for your continued support, without you what we do would not be possible.