By Andree Hill
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 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 each of the organizations involved knows its 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 and 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 and 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. She also 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.