2020- The Year of COVID-19.
Well, our wonderful 2020 started so peacefully. We had extra funds available for our mission because of a very successful pre-Christmas sale after Masses in early December. The Ecuadorian gifts of tablecloths, ponchos, and purses were very popular.
With such a great start for the year, we focused on the March 2nd Pasta Dinner. Our businesses in Pacific Beach are so very generous with donations, so we again offered about 70 silent auction items and 9 raffle prizes, from gift cards to Julian cabin get-aways, jewelry to wine. Something for everyone, plus opportunity to provide scholarships to our students at Escuela Julio Matevello. Thanks to the generosity of so many, we exceeded $31,000.
Well, by the next week of March, our San Diego was a very different city with the arrival of the Coronavirus, COVID-19. Every large event was cancelled to stop the spread, God Blessed us to have the dinner early!
While we were living with social distancing and isolation, Guayaquil Ecuador was being ambushed by the disease and poor health facilities were inundated with infected people. The entire city was shut down, schools closed, curfew from 2pm to 5 am when no one was to be on the streets, food and medicine was in short supply, and if found, prices were much higher.
Damien House was not spared despite every effort to stop the virus. As of this writing, four of our residents, Cesario, Maximo, Alcedes, and Manuela, have gone home to God after being infected. The staff has been doing 24-hour shifts to lessen in-and-out traffic.
To add to the struggles, there was a fire in the electric system, and it needs immediate repair. Because we did have the fundraiser, we were able to send $21,000 right away to help purchase food, and a special gift of $10,000 was sent to start the electric repair.
Our school, Julio Matevello, was not spared problems. With no school, there was no tuition to pay the teachers, so we sent scholarship money of $7,000 to cover March and we are sending up to $13,000 more as they prepare to reopen for classes.
Sadly, with travel restrictions and concern for the health and safety of us all, there will be no mission trip this year. But that won’t stop us from helping from here—we are continuing to send relief where and when it is needed.
Click on the image or this link for the Damien House newsletter where you can find pictures and more details of their activities.
Again, thank you for all of the support for this ministry to Damien House and Escuela Julio Matevello. All at these missions keep you in their prayers.
If you feel you can continue to assist our brothers and sisters in Guayaquil, donations may be sent to our PO Box (see below) or online thru PayPal (no PayPal account needed).
Thank you for your continued support.
FHMB Board, May 22, 2020
To support our missions:
P O Box 9739
San Diego, CA 92169