What Did They Do Wrong?
For the past few weeks, we have begged the question from a child’s point of view - "What did I do wrong?" The answer is, of course, nothing. No child ever chooses to be homeless or near homeless. Yet there are over 600 children who reside in Doña Ana County that are presently classified as being homeless and near homeless. It is a tragedy that any child has to experience not having a place to stay, or to be afraid, and hungry and tired.
A year ago, we were worried that we might have to close the doors at Jardín for lack of funding. With that in mind, we reached out to some of the most brilliant minds in our community, and we asked what we could do to make people understand that we at Jardín de los Niños work to give homeless and near homeless children and their families the tools necessary to break that vicious cycle.
So, we decided to tell the members of our community the truth about homelessness in children. It is not a pretty story. It is not a story many people even wish to consider. But, we decided to tell the story from the beginning. The children pictured here look like the children who come to us on their first day…disheveled, frightened, hungry, and—in many instances—only with the clothes on their backs. Many of them have experienced brutal trauma, abuse and neglect. They come to us broken, and with very little hope. We see the fear and the questions in their eyes. We know that they have no food and no shelter. But that is why they have come to us—so that we can work to help bring them and their parents into a better world for them all. We work to get the children the services they need to overcome their trauma, and—in many instances—the developmental delays from which they suffer. We wanted you to see the truth in these frightened children. But we also invite you to dig deeper. Please visit our website, www.jardinlc.org. There, you will see the faces of smiling children, who sing, and laugh and play, and who have the opportunity to just be who they are. That is what we do. We change lives.
But, in order to continue this important work, we need your support. While the coffers and Jardín are better, we still have a long way to go. It is our goal to raise $300,000 over the next six months. This will assure that we can continue to make a difference in these children’s lives. A donation of any amount is more than welcome and greatly appreciated. Either click on the donation button on our website, or go to our Go Fund Me page via Facebook. We hope that you will join us in our effort to continue to make a difference for our kids, and to assure them that they have done nothing wrong. Please make your donation here on our GoFundMe page, or on the Jardín website. Every dollar spent brings a child who did not have the choice to be homeless into a brighter world—a world with food, and clothing, stability, and…well…a home.