• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Holiday Cards, Calendars Help Educate Kids

December 10, 2004

ERICH Fromm defined love as “positive concernfor the well-being of another.” Social workers and child-developmentspecialists seem to agree that consistent positiveregard and encouragement from just one person canmake a crucial difference in the lives of young childrenwho have been placed at a disadvantage.The Damas Voluntarias of Escazú have proven thistrue. Starting 45 years ago with a day-care program for 12children, they have continued to provide social support,educational help and scholarships to children in need.Today the day-care center, across the street from theRed Cross of Escazú, serves more than 100 children and isrun by the Centro Infantil de Atención Integral.Damas Voluntarias owns the building and pays some ofthe staff. Last year they built two new classrooms. Theyalso have a student library and provide scholarships of¢45,000 ($99) per year to children who might not otherwisebe able to remain in school. The only condition is thatthey come to the center after school to do their homework.Tutoring is provided.THEIR main source of funds is the sale of cards, calendars,and address books featuring donated art work,which is selected at their annual art show. This year’s selectionincludes 31 cards, ¢275 ($0.60) each or ¢3,300 ($7.25)per dozen).The traditional wall calendars measure 8.5” x 11” ,¢3,800 ($8.35) and the desk top calendars, 8.5”x 5.5”,¢2,200 ($4.84). A new item this year is the sale of addressbooks with 13 illustrations from the calendar, ¢8,800($19.34). For slightly more all of items can be personalized.The line, known as “The Colors of Costa Rica,” is soldat 40 locations throughout the country including: Casa deRevistas, Librería Francesa, Librería Motivos, the CentrosCientíficos Tropicales and The Tico Times. Jiménez &Tanzi Office Supply is the first corporation to donate a percentageof sales to the organization.VOLUNTEER opportunities are available at the center.Retired teachers and others can provide homeworkhelp, especially in primary education and English. The centerwould also like an up-to-date computer and technical assistancein creating a computer-education program. The libraryneeds children’s books in Spanish and English.Help with their annual Christmas party or in the productionof the cards is another way to become involved in amost successful and worthy program. For info on items andvolunteering, call 228-0279 or e-mail cguerra@racsa.com

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