Clinic Volunteers Needed
Clinic evaluations take place in 3 Lakeside towns, 12 months of the year. Keeping clinics staffed requires many volunteers. If you would consider sharing your talents, experience, and compassion even one day a month, Niños Incapacitados will be grateful--but the children would be extremely grateful. And, as other volunteers, you will be personally rewarded by participating in this unique volunteer opportunity. For more infomation click here or on the "Clinic Volunteer" button on the left.
Volunteer Survey and Sign-Up Now Available
There is now a volunteer survey and signup available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/865RFZ2. Click here to take the to review our current needs and sign-up if there's something you might be able to help us with. Thank you!
Feedback from a Clinic Visitor
by Dale Curwin
I spent the morning at a "clinic" for Niños Incapacitados. A local charity here in Mexico that provides funding to help families with children who have physical disabilities. I was invited to spend the day with a bilingual clinic manager, doctor and money manager.
It was terribly humbling to see mothers come in with their beautiful kids who needed medical treatment and were lacking the financial resources to help the kids.
These are families making less than 2000 pesos a month with bills sometimes exceeding 1600 pesos. They each in turn presented their medical receipts. Without this amazing charity where would they turn? Go to xe.com to see how much money we are really talking about.
These are kids with really severe medical needs. Neurological issues, cleft palates, Down syndrome and more.
Every one of the mothers came into the room with a smile on her face. Part of being a Mexican. Canadians do not understand true poverty where the definition is that they do not have the newest XBox.
I had to hold back tears the entire morning. What may be a great night out for us is life changing for the families here.
Every mother shook our hands and smiled. Every kid looked at us with a look that would melt you heart. This organization of expats has made life changing contributions to these families. It is heart rendering.
Love each day that greets you and appreciate what you have. The people here who have nothing by our standards appreciate each day. If only we could all learn to do the same.
Have to go cry a bit now and appreciate what I shared with these wonderful families today. To be part of something so amazing has changed my life.
We're Celebrating Our Twentieth Anniversary!
Shortly after this photo was taken, Alexa received a temporary eye prosthesis. She is one of 725 children who have been helped by Niños Incapacitados in the last 10 years.
We're celebrating our twentieth anniversary this year. Niños Incapacitados del Lago, A.C. was formed in 1993, but its real beginnings came 20 years before that when a group of expatriate and Mexican friends formed Amigos de Salud to help low-income families with sick children. And that work has never stopped. We continue to work hard in our clinics and at the never-ending task of raising funds. Government grants have dried up in recent years so this has become an even greater challenge.
We have a group of outstanding volunteers and are proud of the fact that our administration costs are limited to paying an accountant (5% of funds raised) with every other peso going to the children. We are also proud to report that our current financial status is stable and strong, enabling us to honour our commitment to the children in our program and to accept a few more eligible kids.
Because ours is a relatively small community here at Lakeside, we are working hard at finding new, fun and interesting ways to raise funds. A good example would be the benefit screenings in March 2013 of the 16 ACRES documentary on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center; thanks again to Monica and Michael Molloy for making this happen. And in January 2014 we'll be welcoming some truly outstanding, internationally famous guests to Lakeside. Keep January 11 and 12 free!
So we are celebrating our twentieth anniversary in style and with great gratitude. How do we thank and do justice to all the people who have worked so hard in the past twenty years? Joan Frost, the founder of our organization, who died in 2012 after a long, very interesting and varied life, said that she was proudest of her work with Niños Incapacitados. We, too, are so proud of and grateful to Joan and to all those whose hard work, compassion and generosity have made Niños what it is today
All Aboard the Orient Express!
A fine journey aboard the Orient Express was held on March 14. A large crowd particpated in the buffet dinner, the silent auction, and, of course, the popular live auction.
After the auctions closed, there was dancing to the band Black Swan and Diamonds.
A heartfelt "Thank You" to all who were able to attend and also to the squadron of dedicated volunteers who made it all happen.
Click here to see a slide show of the evening's activities and some of the nice people who support us in our efforts to provide funding for the benefit of the sick and disabled kids enrolled in our program.
16 Acres: The Documentary!
The Mexican premier of the documentary film "16 Acres".
There was an excellent turnout for the Mexican premier of "16 Acres", a documentary film about the rebuilding of the World Trade Center. The crowd exceeded expectations and a second screening room had to be opened when the largest one become filled. Thanks to Cinemas del Lago for donating their facilities.
Three of the people who were involved in the making of the film flew down from New York to be available for questions. Thanks to our sponsor Hacienda del Lago Boutique Hotel and Restaurant for providing accomodations for our guests.
Thanks also to Paz Licores who ran a large advertisement in the Guadalajara Reporter to help publicize the event.
2013 Robbie Burns Dinner/Dance
The Head Table for the 2013 Robbie Burns celebration.
A large crowd of enthusiatic supporters made for a memorable Robbie Burns celebration on January 25 at the Real de Chapala hotel.
100% of the 37,000 pesos raised from the event will benefit the sick and handicapped children enrolled in our program. Thanks to all the volunteers who did so much to make the event a success and thanks to all those who attended.
An Afternoon and Evening of Trivia Quizzes
Trivia Quiz Afternoon Champs -- The Three Roads. L-R: Lisette Fish, Gary Fish, Nancy Segall, Stephen Segall, Bill Clarke, Matt McCardell, Kim King, John King. (Photo by Kari Higgins.)
Trivia Quiz Evening Champs -- The Smarty Pants. L-R: David McNiven, Jim Higgins, Dick Larson, Lee Marshall, Margaret Larson, Sharon Lehr, John Lehr, Delayne Giardini. (Photo by Kari Higgins.)
Two sessions were held at the Real de Chapala–one in the afternoon and another in the evening (with different questions, of course!). The facilities at the hotel were superb and Mr. Soto from Guadalajara provided 10 projectors and screens so that everyone had an excellent view of the questions and responses.
In both sessions, each table had eight people working together as a team to either recall or deduce the correct answer to a wide variety of multiple-choice questions in the areas of movies, popular music, history, geography and literature.
One tough question that only one teams got right was "What items did the thesaurus writer Peter Mark Roget devise?" and one that all the teams got right was "According to "Reader's Digest", what is the best medicine?"
In the afternoon session, the sharpest minds belonged to The Three Roads who racked up 63 points out of a possible 80. Triviera Alta placed second and third-place went to the Afterthoughts team. Last year's finish had Triviera Alta in first and The Three Roads in second.
In the evening session, after 8 rounds of competition the champions were The Smarty Pants who correctly answered 68 of the 80 questions. The Great Pretenders came in second, and La Cristina Gang placed third. Round-by-round retrogression was used as a tie-breaker.
Thanks to everyone who participated! It was great fun and, of course, all the proceeds – about 80,000 pesos – will be going to benefit the children in our program. By the way, Peter Roget devised a pocket chess set and a slide rule and, according to Reader's Digest, laughter is the best medicine.
What Do We Do?
So far in 2013, Programa Pro Niños Incapacitados del Lago has assisted 93 children and young people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, diabetes, cancer and birth defects. In addition to paying for wheelchairs, orthopedic braces, eyeglasses and other medical equipment, the organization pays for medications, x-rays and diagnostic tests which are not covered by the family's insurance. In 2012 we helped 131 children; in 2011 we helped 158 children; and in 2010 we helped 166 children.
Who Are The Kids That Get Help?
On the left is a recent Child-of-the-Month. Click on the photo or caption to see a detailed bio of this young person and get a better idea of what our group is accomplishing. On the right-hand side of this page are links to previous Children-of-the-Month detailing some of the problems the children have encountered and how our group has been able to help. The spunk and determination of these kids (and their parents) is incredible!
Who Are We?
We are an all-volunteer, not-for-profit charitable organization that has been helping kids in the Lake Chapala area (40 miles south of Guadalajara, Mexico) for over 19 years. We are audited annually by the state of Jalisco's directorate of charities (IJAS). Over 95% of our income is spent directly on helping needy children and less than 5% is spent on administrative expenses.
Please browse through the site. If you have questions, any of the nice folks listed under "Contact Us" will be glad to try to answer them for you.