Despite no longer being able to issue donation receipts, the Manitoba to Ecuador Project is forging ahead with a new fundraiser.
Founder Mark Reimer says they recently lost an important partner.
“Good News Community Church was our sponsor and gave receipts for all donations that were given to us over the past 12 years, and they closed their door on December 31st of last year. So, we can no longer offer receipts for donations, but we're not giving up the project. We still have dreams to give elementary school kids school supplies and to help some university students keep their dream of attending school alive.”
Reimer says a few of their long-time supporters have reassured them that donations will continue to roll in.
“A number of people who have donated to the project in the past have said, 'you know, the receipts are nice, but I think that a lot of people who have supported your project might continue to support your project even if they don't get a receipt', so I'm hoping they're right.”
The Manitoba to Ecuador Project is still looking to fill this gap. Reimer says they are hoping to find a new partner that can help them process donations and provide receipts. If any organization is interested, they are encouraged to reach out.
In the meantime, they are forging ahead, kicking off an online fundraising auction on Monday, September 25th. It will depend how much money comes in, but Reimer says they hope to help Ecuadorians in three ways.
“The first one is to provide school supplies for elementary kids in Puerto Lopez.” He adds “The second part is also to address families who have a hard time at Christmas. We support a Christmas cheer effort where Christmas meals and gifts are provided for three of the poorest barrios in Puerto Lopez and the third part is keeping some university students in school.”
It may seem crazy, but Reimer says kids in the poorest areas can’t afford to get the required 5 notebooks they need for a school year.
“What we're hoping to do is provide school kids with five notebooks, a couple of pens, a couple of pencils, crayons, a ruler, a pencil sharpener so they can go to school fully equipped with supplies.”
Alex Cedeño has been assisted by the Manitoba to Ecuador Project, and is currently studying at Providence University College with a scholarship. Reimer notes Cedeño says it best.
“Last October he said ‘I come from a town filled with really smart people, but very few of them have the chance to follow their educational dreams’ and so we're trying to help as many of them as possible, follow their educational dreams and turn them into realities.”
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