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#228639 01/30/07 12:46 AM
Joined: May 2006
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Update - Holy Cross Anglican School
January 26, 2007

Greetings and Happy New Year from Holy Cross Anglican School in San Pedro, Belize!!

Many thanks to each of you for your continuing support and prayers for this incredible, not-so-little-anymore school. We rejoice that 153 children are now enrolled at Holy Cross - most for the first time ever - and that 15 special needs children are receiving care and guidance in our Special Education Unit!

Three additional buildings are under construction - our Chapel/canteen/multipurpose building, the school kitchen/caretakers home and an additional Standard I classroom. Seven more classrooms and a school office/health clinic will be built, God willing, prior to the opening of school in September 2007.

We project a student enrollment of 350 by then as we will offer three Infant I (kindergarten) classes, two Infant II (first grade), two Standard I (second grade) and one class each for Standard II, III, IV, V, and VI. Our goal is to provide an education to ALL children unable to attend other schools due to lack of space or financial constraints. Lots is happening in our corner of God's kingdom - smile!

Needless to say, none of this would have been (or will be!) possible without the generosity of folks like you. Every nail, every desk, every pencil, every piece of food - literally everything at Holy Cross - has been donated or bought with contributions from our caring friends. Thank you so very much!!!

And a special 'thank you' goes to all those who responded to the Vitamin Drive!! I'm thrilled to say we have at least a two year supply of vitamins on hand - that's a LOT of vitamins! - so we are removing vitamins from the Holy Cross "Wish List". There are, however, just a few things we still need (smile) so I've put our updated requests at the end of this email.

I only wish I could raise money as quickly as those vitamins poured in!!

Unfortunately it takes a lot of money to operate and grow Holy Cross School - especially when the students are poor, the government is broke and most folks think Belize is a wealthy tourist destination. Our students need your help. They are counting on their unseen friends, we're counting on you and so is God. Remember, you are God's hands and feet on this earth - He doesn't ask you to save the whole world (I think that's Someone else's job!). But He does ask you to do what you can to help those you know are in need.

Here's what we're facing�..

LANDFILL: costs $60US for a small dump truck load that would fill a child's sandbox. We literally need TONS of dirt/sand to convert the swamp the school is being built in into dry land. We must 'fill as we go' so that the pilings for new buildings can be sunk to bedrock.

I keep hoping that someone will organize a Dump Truck Ministry. I can see it now�.posters with beautiful dump trucks each bearing the name of a donor, dump truck lapel pins designed and manufactured by the inmates in Vernon's prison ministry jewelry shop, the dump truck awards ceremonies for the many benefactors. I could go on and on but the bottom line is that we need thousands of dollars to buy dirt. Not very appealing but absolutely essential.

FEEDING PROGRAM: Our children are poor and come to school hungry. Everyday we provide a protein rich breakfast, mid-morning fruit snack and hot, nourishing lunch at NO COST to our students since the need is great and few could pay. It is costing right at $5US per student per week which is extremely reasonable. But, what is 'reasonable' for one student becomes expensive for 153!! It takes about $750US per week to provide food, purified water, utilities and labor for our Feeding Program. I get slightly ill when I think what the price tag will be for 350 children!!!

CLASSROOMS: We order our Belizean 'pre-fab' buildings from a generous company in the western part of Belize which sells us the 'pieces and parts' at cost. The parts are trucked to Belize City then loaded onto barges, shipped to San Pedro, offloaded, trucked to the bridge then carried to the school site by our little bobcat and several Belizean laborers. Pilings are sunk, the floor in 4 parts laid down, walls erected and roofing timbers installed. We then have to purchase and install the roofing materials, windows (wooden slats), doors, wiring, lighting, wall boards, paint and decking lumber. From initial order to the classroom being ready for students, the cost is just at $10,000US per building - materials, transportation and labor. We currently have 5 classrooms in operation ($50,000US), 4 buildings under construction as our Chapel is two buildings combined ($40,000US) and are planning for 8 additional buildings ($80,000US) for September 2007.

I get really depressed when I put our financial needs down in black and white - ugh! Here in Belize we just try to 'do the next thing' and trust that God (who certainly has access to what we need - smile!) will provide. He has been faithful in the past - just look at what has happen at Holy Cross Anglican School in 6 short months! And, I know He will be faithful in the future.

Just yesterday, for example, a couple from New Orleans stopped by the school and gave me a check for $3,000 - WOW! And�.

The children from West End Christian School, Richmond VA sent $80 collected from their weekly Chapel offerings - WOW!

The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Spokane, Washington sent $5,000 - WOW!

St Philip's Lutheran Church in Glenview IL send 120 hand made school totes each lovingly filled with school supplies - WOW!

Our first volunteer group from St. Luke's, Durham, NC arrives next Friday with 15 able-bodied workers and $2,500US for construction materials - WOW!

Almost 20 other volunteer groups will be coming down before August, each bringing workers, school supplies and financial contributions - WOW!

Holy Cross has launched our first ever fundraiser with the printing of our 'Faces of the Future' school calendars. They are being sold in most of our local stores, for $20BZ or $10US and we're praying they do well - smile. Many thanks go to local volunteers Marilyn Marx, Cullen Walker, Paul Jewitt, Laurie Norton and Marie from Gecko Graphics who got this calendar put together in less than a week - WOW!

Please help as you can�.come to Belize and spend time at the school; bring items from our wish list; share the Holy Cross story with friends at Church, school , civic organizations and email lists; send a contribution; organize a volunteer group - its easy and I'll help; contact Oprah, Bill Gates or anyone else you know with tons of money!

I recently got an email from someone who had heard about Holy Cross through 'a friend of a friend of a friend' and was planning a trip to Belize. He offered to bring down "anything the school needs". So I sent the following wish list along with an appeal for tons of money. His reply made me giggle�"Tons of money", he wrote "would not meet the airline's 50 pound per suitcase weight allowance."

So, I'm no longer am asking for tons of money - 50 pounds will do nicely - smile!!!

Many thanks and Blessings from the grateful students of Holy Cross Anglican School, their families, our six teachers, an appreciative local community and Vernon and me! Love, Francis

Please send checks made payable to: "Holy Cross Anglican School" to: Mrs. Francis Wilson, Anglican Diocese of Belize, PO Box 535, Belize City, Belize

Here is the Holy Cross updated "Wish List":

Children's books
Hand sanitizer
fat pencils
fat crayons
coloring books
Easter activity books
Easter children's books
short sleeved, button up, white shirts: size 6 - 14 (school uniform)
gray shorts: sizes 6 - 14 (school uniform)
Gray long pants: sizes 6 - 14 (school uniform)
wooden puzzles
batteries: AAA, AA, C
Children's exercise books
tennis shoes - sizes 1 - 6 (not the little kids sizes)
underwear - girls and boys: sizes 4 - 14
small items we can use as little prizes
teacher charts
Educational toys
plastic lunch size plates - 350
plastic cups - 6oz - 350
Plastic bowls - 350
White board markers - fat ones
Tape - scotch tape, duct tape and brown plastic packaging tape
Folks and spoons - 350
Multi-piece puzzles
Packing tape - brown plastic
Long flat erasers
Tambourines, drums, simple instruments
Dress-up clothes, Halloween costumes
Face painting materials
sugarless gum

San Pedro based Belize Blog since 2007 - great travel resources & discounts

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,001
Tacogirl..thanks for the report. You share your mission well.A true noblie cause.While I never donate to religious charities , never.This school has been a exception. As they serve the whole sanpedro communitiy,they have great programs ,food ,special needs the list goes on . I can not think of any better way for all both local and tourists alike to champion a better cause!! I have and will continue to donate as I have no time to help. .Both you and francine ,and all the other hard working volunteers will be truly blessed .. this is a win ,win ,keep up the good work..and thanks again for the report I needed that..

Last edited by captjeff; 01/30/07 11:19 AM.

Living The Dream Every Day!
Joined: May 2006
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Capt Jeff your donation to the feeding program was wonderful. So important the links between nutrition and learning.

Thanks so much for your post today and support.

In case you have not seen any pics, here is photo album of the school.

San Pedro based Belize Blog since 2007 - great travel resources & discounts

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 115
Thanks tacogirl for the update!! We are planning another trip in April and we will PM you and let you know what we will bring. Last NOV we brought some school supplies and are happy to help this visit as well.

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 327
TG, we'll be back.. not sure if it will be june or Dec, but we'll bring some more goodies! Thanks for the report. We were sick to know we drove past the school and didn't stop in, one of my girls is major is special ed... 3 more years till she's out! I'm sure she'd go crazy to see what all you have done with so little.


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Nice ERJPilot, all help appreciated.

TY DitchDocDiver. I just finished adding new pictures from today. The special ed room is included as well as shots of the new buildings going up and the neighborhood around the school where many of the kids live. (there are 2 or 3 pages worth on this link depending how many you have to a page.)

I would be happy to take you to the school next time you come.

San Pedro based Belize Blog since 2007 - great travel resources & discounts

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 327
Thanks for adding the pictures. They really do say a 1000 words. Glad that they have you to help spread the word.

I'll be in contact once we finalize our travel plans, and see what the needs are and what we can bring again.

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True DDD

The pics (especially end ones) show a part of San Pedro many people do not see which needs a little more love.

San Pedro based Belize Blog since 2007 - great travel resources & discounts

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19
Schools & Libraries are a tremendously worthy cause. I will contribute in everyway possible.
- Can someone explain how the school system is structured on the Island?
- I understand that the Roman Catholic Primary School is the only public school, How does it differ from Holy Cross ? (I have heard that both schools run on donations)
- I read some children cannot afford to go to school; do not all the children get a free public education?
- Do all children go to high school?

Thank you.

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,299
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Dr Steve Holy Cross was specifically built for the kids who cannot afford to go to school. So fat there are about 153 kids that would otherwise not be getting an education. It is estimated that will jump to 350 in September.

Attending school is not free here. All schools here cost money to attend for tuition, uniforms, and books. Most schools do not offer a feeding program.

The kids that attend Holy Cross school are ones who would not be able to go to school if they had to pay for these things. Many of them come from San Mateo area which is a very poor neighborhood that most people do not see when they come to San Pedro.

The last pictures in this photo gallery will show you what it is like living in San Mateo. There is no sewer system and often those that do get some running water only have about 2 h worth in a day.

The school also has a feeding program as well where these kids get breakfast, a fruit snack, lunch, and a multi vitamin daily.

These kids need help to have the chance to get educated and have opportunities for their future.

Because the school is built on swamp land and it is not filled in enough yet, the kids do not have any playground for recess and lunchtime. This is another important area that donations are helping with so that enough land gets filled that the kids have a dray area to play.

The other schools and the library are also great causes. In comparison to schools and libraries in Canada or the USA, they all can use what ever help people wish to give, be it volunteer time, things needed, or financial contributions.

San Pedro based Belize Blog since 2007 - great travel resources & discounts

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