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Neighborhood Christmas party in Mendoza, Argentina

Joanne Raveney

December 8th marked the fourth year in a row that 45 children and mothers from our weekly soup kitchen came to our house in the countryside. We only live about 5 kilometers from their neighborhood, but it was necessary for us to find the help of a bus company to bring the children to our home.

The warm December afternoon was filled with games, a special meal and cake, swimming and gifts. Many hands worked together to make it all possible. The highlight of the afternoon was when we could give each family a collection of the six stories and activity books from Aurora Productions, sponsored by Activated Ministries. The children were familiar with some of the stories as we often read children’s books at our weekly free lunch program, but this gift marked the first time that they could have their own copy.

We’ve realized that most of the children were behind in school because of poor reading skills. The previous summer we had held a summer reading competition and found that 98% of the kids just didn’t have reading books available. Libraries are few and far apart and don’t lend books out. So this gift of books with the accompanying activity workbook is something that each child cherished. It is our hope that the kids will take up a desire to read more and thus improve in their scholastics.

Thankfully, next year when we start the summer reading competition, the children will have books to read thanks to the help of Activated Ministries.