First of all, apologies for not having updated the blog sooner- to be completely honest, we have had so much going on with Club ACORN we have not had time! We have a lot of wonderful and exciting new developments:
• We have hired a director, as Ali and I are unfortunately ending our time here in Argentina. However, we and Club ACORN feel extremely lucky to have found Lenore, an energetic young woman from San Francisco who is not only amazing with the kids but understands the importance of community and wants to not only keep the program going but help it to grow.
• We have found new friends in BA Pub Crawl! On Friday, April 25, 2008, they held a benefit fundraiser for Club ACORN and gave us 50% of all their profits. Thanks again to the hard work of our volunteers and supporters, the event was a huge success and we have funds to keep going for a couple more months.
• We also held a parents meeting last week to formally say our goodbyes and officially welcome Lenore into Club ACORN. It was truly an amazing way to say goodbye- we had one mother tell Ali and I “no hay palabras”, (there are no words) for what this center has meant for her and her son. That was all we needed to push us to bring this home to the states and stay involved from there- something we will be doing by starting to work to gain legal NGO status for Club ACORN and by having Ali and I remain on the board of directors- checking in monthly with our director here in Argentina.
• Lastly, as always, where would we be without our volunteers? They truly amaze us every day. We were going to have to shut down the center next week due to overlapping travels- Ali, myself and Lenore are all back in the States at the same time- but one of our volunteers stepped up as an substitute director for the next week to keep the center going. Another volunteer collected cell phones from his abroad program to donate to the center. Another volunteer organized a resume workshop for adults. We feel lucky to have had the chance to meet and work with all these caring and hardworking people- we can never thank them enough.
Sadly, this may be the last blog entry from Ali and myself for a while- but let us just say that we are so grateful for all that Club ACORN has done for us- as we told the parents at the parent meeting, Club ACORN has made us feel like we had a home here in Argentina, and we cannot imagine not coming back to see it. We are sad to go, but at the same time extremely excited for the future of this project- thank you to all who have helped our dream become a reality.
Con carino, Sara Gips y Ali Morris