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College Grads Support Paper Houses!

August, 2018

Last month Mrs. Brenda C. Martinez Reyes, our tireless volunteer in Acuna, made a presentation about Paper Houses at the University Vizcaya in Acuna.

Brenda's presentation about Paper Houses and our work in the colonias was so well received, that students quickly organized fund raising activities and raised about $1,000 US dollars. The money and school supplies for some of the children were presented to Bob and Brenda at a ceremony at the college.

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Mission Trip!

August, 2018

My daughter, Mary Beth, her husband Aaron, and my grandson Gavin, traveled from Austin to Acuna for a special trip.

We visited schools, we walked the colonias, we dedicated a special playroom at a kindergarten and after-school program, and hosted a fiesta for 31-special needs children.

This was not Mary Beth's first trip to the colonias, but she remarked that without walking into homes with dirt floors and not even a small fan, and experiencing the poverty with these wonderful people, it is very hard for people to understand why we work so hard in the colonias of Mexico.

I have worked, apart from Paper Houses, at a U.S. Veterans Hospital and spend nights on the streets of San Antonio to work directly with and better understand the homeless in my community. My daughter's observation is correct. We must experience the situations to really understand the situations.

(see photos)
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Special Needs Children Visit Sea World!

July, 2018

We worked with the Acuna Rotary Club to bring a group of our Special Needs Children to visit Sea World, Texas.

It is impossible to explain to the children what they will experience. Many of these cancer fighters,and children with special needs live in extreme poverty. Some think that the stop we make at McDonald's for breakfast is 'the trip' and they are amazed when a toy is put into their little Happy Meal.

Arriving at Sea World they are met by local San Antonio student volunteers and escorted throughout the park. This is a wonderful trip for the children and we are proud to work with and support the Rotary Club with this project.

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Mission Trip Photos!

June, 2018

Many of the people that participated in our March mission returned a few days after the mission to provide more help to the people!

We published photos from this mission and can be found by clicking here!

Ms. Martha especially seemed taken with the many children we met. Our fiesta for the special needs children was a huge hit with everyone.

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Oscar Reyes, Cancer Patient Improves!

May, 2018

We made cancer treatment possible for Oscar, but he was so week he had to remain hospitalized. This month their is great news! He is getting stronger, receiving chemotherapy and will soon return home!

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Working with Project Mend!

April, 2018

Project Mend is a nonprofit working to improve the quality of life for individuals living with disabilities and illness through the refurbishment, reuse and distribution of medical equipment and other assistive technology.

We toured their warehouse and workshop where items are repaired and made ready for those in need. This is an amazing operation!

At a small cost we received wheelchairs and other special needs equipment that was immediately taken to the special needs families in Acuna's colonias!

Project Mend is based in San Antonio, Texas and serves the local community. We encourage those seeking volunteer opportunities to visit their Volunteer Page on their website.
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Mission Trip!

March, 2018

With the help of Claudia Chavez organized Paper Houses mission experience with factory workers from Arconic in Ciudad Acuna. We were further blessed to have Dr. Valdez from Acuna and Ms. Martha, from San Antonio, Texas help us with this trip.

After a brief orientation meeting we walked the streets of two colonias. We found several people in dire need of medical assistance. Dr. Valdez examined the children and also helped adults with severe medical problems.

Two people were suffering from diabetes and had run out of insulin the a month ago. The insulin and other needed medications were immediately delivered to the people in need.

Ms. Martha especially seemed taken with the many children we met. Our fiesta for the special needs children was a huge hit with everyone.

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Building a Cafeteria

February 2018

We are building a small cafeteria at a local kinder to serve the children that need a hot meal. Located in the heart of a poor colonia, we have worked with this particular school and admire their teachers and the school director. To help fund this building we are trying a new approach with a new fund-raiser link. Both people in the USA and in Mexico are working to make this cafeteria a reality. We hope to build during the summer. You can make a huge impact with a small donation.

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Jesus Orlando

January 6, 2018

Sadly, little Jesus Orlando passed today while receiving treatment for his battle with cancer. The funeral will be held tomorrow. He was a brave little fighter, but was in a lot of pain. We visited him on our Christmas trip, but he was too sick to enjoy anything. A new tumor had developed during the week before that visit.

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Temps in the low 20's

January 2018

Temps are in the 20's and sleet is predicted. Lots of blankets, socks, warm wool mittens and caps help. We replaced sandals with tennis shoes and socks. Most of the block houses have no source of heat, although some have wood burning in a metal container. One cardboard house had a small campfire burning.

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Christmas Celebration and Visits

December 2017

We prayed about Stephania and realized that she was still smiling, that bright and wonderful smile, and that she would want us to push away all sadness and to give the children a good Christmas, filled wit laughter and joy.

We visited homes all day on Friday. On Saturday we helped at two of our Christmas celebrations for children. (Click here to jump to our Christmas page)

Stephania

Stephania

December 2017

When we heard Stephania's phone ring, we were laughing and excited. We called to tell her that St. Jude Hospital accepted her case. I even thought, 'maybe she will not lose her leg, after-all.' When we heard crying and sobbing on the phone, we asked, "Stephania, what is wrong? Why are you crying?" A voice said, "This is not Stephania. This is her mom. She just died."

We learned that Stephania returned home from her latest round of chemotherapy and became sick. She then caught the flu. Her fever rapidly rose and her immune system was so weak that she died.

Paper Houses on Facebook

December 2017

We now have a much stronger presence on Facebook. Although our main website contains many more pages than FB offers, it is now easy to keep up with the newest information when you visit Facebook.

Amazon Smile Program

November 2017

 

Our wonderful friend, Sylvia, connected us with the Amazon Smile program

If you shop Amazon through the link to Amazonsmile, 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible items to Paper Houses Across the Border!

Imagine the impact if you, your family and your friends shop at Amazon through this link!

Please share this link with everyone of your family and friends. Your help can make a big difference in the lives of so many children and families.

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Stefania's Laptop

October 2017

Like schools in the USA, many schools in Mexico assign work to students that require computers. Most children go to private shops that allow them to purchase time on the shop's computers. Some use the few computers at the one public library. Stefania remains confined to bed waiting for surgery to remove the malignant tumor in her leg. Today, we gave her a laptop and software so that she can better keep up with her studies.

Angel - 3 years old, spinal cord defect and hydrocephalus.

Angel - 3-years old - serious medical conditions

September 2017

Angel is 3-years old, diagnosed with myelomeningocele (a defect of the spinal cord and backbone) and hydrocephalus (commonly referred to as "water on the brain).

To treat the hydrocephalus, the doctor at the hospital for the poor, inserted a valve to relieve the pressure. An infection resulted in the brain that cost the baby the loss of sight. Part of the child's brain was burned. We are sending him for tests at private hospitals to see what else can be done.

Estafania

Stafani 15 year old - Malignant Tumor

August 2017

Stafani is a 15 year girl diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her leg. Doctors say that it is possible that they may need to remove her leg because they fear the cancer is spreading.

Most 15-year old girls in Mexico look forward to their quincentenary. Instead of looking forward to her birthday, Stafani is confined to bed and waiting for her next trip to the hospital in Monterrey. Although aware of the possibility of losing her leg, she remains hopeful and the family emphasizes that this is only a possibility. However, the reports from the hospital are not as optimistic.

We assisted with transportation, meals and will help with medical costs. While waiting for the next trip, Stafani tries to keep up with her school work and remain hopeful.

Josue Casio Garcia

Josue Casio Garcia

July 2017

Josue knows that he is dying. Three years ago, he suddenly began having difficulty breathing and walking. The doctors diagnose his condition as pulmonary fibrosis. Doctors in Mexico say that they have done all that is possible, but his outlook is not good.

He told his wife to divorce him so she can find another husband, but she refuses to leave his side. She works full time and takes care of her husband, who now bedridden. They live in a very poor circumstance. We purchased a refrigerator, food and provide additional assistance.

Yulisa 4 years old

Yulisa Guadalupe 4 years old - Paralysis

July 2017

Yulisa did not receive enough oxygen and was declared dead at birth. However, she was revived and doctors in the hospital in Montclover said that the lack of oxygen left her paralyzed and with severe mental disorders. In June, she was accepted by the rehabilitation center in Saltillo and we will help with transportation and additional medical costs.

Arely 8 year old child.

Arely Denis Epilepsy and Possible Brain Malfunction

July 2017

Arel is an 8-year old little angel with epilepsy and mental conditions. She was recently accepted by a Mexican rehabilitation center in Saltillo where doctors will examine the child, provide therapy and discus other medical options that may be available.

We provided her mother with transportation and will assist with additional medical costs.

Picture of 10 year old Helen.

Helen - Seizures and Convulsions

June 2017

Helen is 10-years old. She fell, struck her head and since that time has been having convulsions. We visited her and her mother and sent her to the hospital for an evaluation and medication.

Wendy  child with severe heart condition

Wendy - Severe Heart Problems

June 2017

Wendy is 9-years old and has an irregular heart beat. We sent her to the Hospital in Monterrey during the month of May and June. We visited her mother and she said that the doctors prescribed medication.

Jenny Psychomotor Retardation

Jenny Psycho-motor Retardation

May 2017

Jenny was diagnosed with psycho motor retardation, a mental condition that resulted in severer limitations of her abilities to walk and to think.

We provided the "twister' braces that help her to walk.

spina bifida - Guadalupe

Guadalupe - Spina Bifida

April 2017

Guadalupe, diagnosed with spina bifida. After we sent her for an updated exam, the doctors recommended splints and additional testing. The splints were provided and she continues with physical therapy and testing.

We visited Guadalupe in her home and reviewed the latest medical reports with her mother.

Mariza 24-year old born paralyzed

Mariza - Paralyzed at Birth

March 30, 2017

Mariza is 24-years old. Born with paralysis and microcephaly. Microcephaly occurs most often because the brain fails to grow at a normal rate). Mariza is a twin (her sister has no medical problems). For 24 years, Mariza has been cared for by her mother and her aunt. The family struggles and it is difficult to pay for the special vitamins and Ensure that Mariza needs. Her mother sells tamales on the street. Paper Houses is now providing groceries, vitamins, Ensure, and diapers.

children at after-school program sponsored by Paper Houses Across the Border

Visit to After-School Program

March 18, 2017

The After-school Program that we sponsor provides hot meals, supervised playtime, help with school-work, dance and art to children in preschool and kindergarten. Without this programs, many of these children would be home alone for hours, while waiting for their parents to come home from work.

We joined them for a meal and they presented us with a wreath of hand-prints that was displayed on the wall, thanking Paper Houses for our help. Click for photos.

little girl born blind

Estrella-born blind and with possible mental disabilities.

March 9, 2017

We met this little 5-year old angel on March 9th. She greeted us with laughter and a few words in English. Her mother explained that she has uncles living in the United States and whenever they call, they teach the family new words in English. Estrella began singing a song in Spanish and inserted a few English words! Then, she paused and said, "Applause, please!"

We laughed and clapped. She then continued singing.

Being with her was akin to being closer to God. All of our worries and concerns melted away as we lived in the moment.

Rigoberto born with paralysis

Rigoberto 10 year old- Paralysis and Brain Disorder

February 11, 2017

Rigoberto was born in a small farming community. The doctors did not tell the parents that there was anything wrong with the infant. As he drew, they say that his wrists, back and fingers seem to be twisting. They took him to the doctor when he was 9-months old and the doctor examined him. He told the parents that their baby was born with 'paralysis, a brain disorder and that he needed surgery because his testicles were twisted.(click here for the rest of the story).

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