On Monday, June 2, 2014, I walked down these railroad tracks about three quarters of a mile …
I was on my way to meet Javier. Javier is 8 years old. His favorite color is yellow, his favorite subject in school is “lenguaje” (languages), and he (along with his brother Josue) plays soccer (futbol to him) on a team called “Guzman.”
He also has a mom (Silvia) who desperately wants Javier to be able to stay in school, stay healthy, and keep his dreams alive (currently he dreams of being a firefighter).
Javier’s father Josue rises very early every morning, traverses these same railroad tracks to get to a bus on which he travels about an hour and a half away to procure fish that he comes back to the community and sells. Despite his constant efforts to provide for his family of four, sales of fish do not provide financial security and threaten Javier’s ability to succeed in school.
I am pretty sure I will never forget how many times Silvia, Javier’s mom, mentioned “zapatos” (shoes) when I asked how sponsorship through Unbound could help Javier. (In addition to education costs, sponsorship also provides assistance for housing, nutrition, health, and “formation” (leadership activities that help build morale and self confidence among youth).)
After I met Javier, as I was preparing to write his story, I couldn’t stop thinking about my son’s early childhood, when he was so obsessed with firefighters. About our trip to the fire station to meet the firefighters, about the firefighter Halloween costume, about the BuildABear figure that, once we clothed it (it was a dog named “Siren” of course) in a miniature firefighter outfit complete with boots and helmet, easily cost more than the $30 that a month of sponsorship through Unbound costs. I pray that Javier gets an opportunity to have a boyhood ignited with possibilities like my son has had.
Here is a little glimpse of Javier and Josue:
Javier’s 9th birthday is June 9, and I can think of no better gift than one of shoes … and the potential to fulfill his dreams … via sponsorship. For general information on sponsorship, please visit this link. If you are interested in sponsoring Javier, or know someone who would be interested, please contact me and I will put you in touch with the right resources.
HAPPY UPDATE AS OF 6/7/14: Javier has a sponsor! Whoever you are, thank you! There are still many children and aging awaiting sponsors. Visit this link for information!
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.