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Activated Baja in Collaboration with Big Ben School

Joy Peck

Activated Baja was approached by a 6th grade teacher name Tammy from Big Ben School (Colegio Big Ben de Londres) in Ensenada. As part of the curriculum, the students from her 6th grade class needed to participate in some social work in the local community. Tammy asked us if we had any suggestions for them.

We recommended the Salvation Army located in Maneadero, south of town. Their needs are great and they don’t receive enough support. The Salvation Army has specifically asked for food items for their food kitchen serving street kids and single mothers within the community. They also asked for cement to help them complete some construction on their center. We provided some photos for Tammy of the center. She showed these photos to her students, and they immediately wanted to help. Each student agreed to raise a certain amount of money to contribute to the various needs at the center.

After a few weeks of fund raising, planning, preparation and hard work on the part of the students they were ready make their donation. Our day started with picking up the five bags of cement and then we met up with Tammy and her students at the school. The director of Big Ben, Ricardo Olguin Hernandez had also decided to join up with us for this special day. From there we all went together to Wal Mart to purchase the food. Upon arriving at Wal mart, Ricardo gathered the students around the shopping cart and tried to impress upon them the importance of our mission for the day. “Listen you guys,” he said, “this is a very good thing we are doing for the community, okay?” They all nodded solemnly and once they were all paying attention Tammy announced, “We need 20 bags of rice!” They jumped in enthusiastically and started helping to load up the shopping cart with rice, oil, beans and eggs.

Upon arriving at Salvation Army, the director’s wife Sargento Reyes met everyone at the entrance and then proceeded to take us on a tour of the center. The children listened respectfully as she explained about their work within the community and different areas they are helping. It was obvious to everyone that there was a great need there.

After the tour we presented the cement and food which was received with big smiles of gratefulness and many thanks. Ricardo was deeply touched and commented to us afterwards, “There is a great need here; I want to come back next month with more of the students to help again.”

“We’d be happy to participate in any way that’s needed,” we assured him.

“Good job!” Tammy told her students. “Do you see what all your hard work was able to accomplish?” They did see it, and the pleasure of witnessing the happy faces of the director of the Salvation Army and his wife was reward enough for them.

We could tell the children’s participation in this event made an impact on them that they will remember for many years to come. Teachers and parents know how important it is for children to be reminded that there are those who are less fortunate in this world, and that it is our social responsibility to do our part to help them.