Sometimes you meet one person who is trying to make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate. This past week, I have met 2 such people. I met with Kathleen Duncan or Tia Katy (as the kids at the orphanage call her). The night before her press conference yesterday, we sat down and I got to listen to her story and what she has done in just 3 years with the Amores de Peñasco Children’s Shelter.
Over 30 years ago, she and her husband Arnott and their 3 sons started coming to Puerto Penasco when time permitted as they own and operate the family business called Duncan Family Farms in Buckeye, AZ. They have a vast amount of acreage devoted to organic farming and employee a huge amount of workers. In speaking, she told the story of a man who called her husband from Cave Creek and said that he owned a place called the Satisfied Frog and wanted to know if they could grow chili for him as he was starting making his Chili Beer. Ironically Ed Chillean and his wife Maria now have a Satisfied Frog in Puerto Peñasco Mexico. It is a small world.
A few years back she and Arnott decided they wanted to give back to the community that had come to love so much. So in 2012 she started making weekly trips to Puerto Peñasco to volunteer at the children’s shelter. I think Kathy has a heart the size of Puerto Peñasco and the more time she spent here the more did their commitment to make a difference in the lives of these children. Tia Katy has a Master’s Degree in Psychology so she knew what had to happen to make this dream come true. The stories she told me about some of the children and how they got there and what they had endured in their oh so young lives just made me ill. To think a mother could hold her son’s hands to a stove top burner to make him behave just made my hair stand on end. My only thought this was not a mother or even an animal.
Here is just a little of info on the Mission and work. Steps of Love in Mexico partners with “Asistencia Integral Para Menores de Puerto Penasco & Familias con Proposito en Sonoyta”. The main mission is to better the lives of children in the border cities by providing good shelter, guide them to a better education and lift their self esteem also providing them with a mentor to help achieve their potential, make the orphanage a home type atmosphere and lastly provide them with basic health and wellness needs. Last fall I attended their dental clinic put on here in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Puerto Penasco and they were so cute when they finished and were all smiles for Tia Katy. That day we had to cut our interview short as she had to rush back to the shelter as a family of 4 just arrived with the youngest being about 6 months old.
At first her focus was mainly on the Amores de Peñasco, but with the help of people like Notario Armando Rameriz Islas, they decided to for a new A.C. and this is to support all groups throughout the city that are helping children in need. What this means now is simply any organization or individuals who are striving to help improve the needs of children, they can apply for assistance via the AIM of PP. AIM stands for Asistencia Integral Para Puerto Peñasco. The types of support will be funding, in-kind donations and coordination of volunteers for special projects. AIM has to rely on fundraising efforts in both Mexico and the United States. If you want more details about AIM of PP, please contact me and I can send you a detailed sheet both in Spanish or English.
Kathy also serves on the Board of Directors of steps of Love (a 501c3) non profit organization. A few months ago about 20 of us met her home in Puerto Peñasco to discuss fund raising ideas. Hence the Charity Golf Tournament which will be held on Feb. 13th at Las Palomas Golf Course came to be. After trying to decide on dates, I had suggested Valentine’s Day weekend as there are usually a lot of people here. Then Kathy said Amore por Amores. The golf tournament is open to anyone who can swing a club. There are 3 money holes #15 is worth $5,000 USD, #11 is worth $5,000 USD and #17 is worth $10,000 USD. My job is getting local businesses to donate gifts and certificates for the Silent Auction to be held after the tournament. If you don’t have clubs, I am sure you can rent them from Las Palomas Resort. The cost is $150.00 and it goes to charity. We still have a few spots open so you can register at www.stepsoflove.org/amor-for-amores-2016 or call 480-420-8141. If you can’t come and play but want to donate anyhow, we can find local golfers to golf in your place. If you have a business and have not heard from me, call me at 623-298-4284 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thus far we have some really great certificates for condo stays to restaurant certificates to retail and gift shop certificates At last count I think we have collected nearly 75 great items. Haven’t gotten the special Valentine gift yet.. here is your chance.
Some of the current needs at the shelters are always cash donations for the caregiver and teacher salaries, Sam’s Club Gift cards for food and cleaning supplies. You can donate online at www.stepsoflove.org.
Items that are needed also include Laundry and Dish Soap, Bleach, Fabuloso Clenaer, Cereal, Rice, Beans, Cooking Oil, Tuna, Mayo, Ketchup, Butter, Cheese, Sugar and Flour, Towel, Pillows, Twin Sheets and School Supplies. In winter we have a lot of generous winter visitors that come here, but in summer when everyone is gone is when we really need items.
In closing let me remind you that Puerto Peñasco is a very safe place to spend you time and we would not invite you if we didn’t know it was safe. As a visitor recently Linda and Harlen Schultz from Wausau, Wisconsin said:
“I noticed the travel warning for Rocky Point, I had to chuckle about some of the responds. There are areas in Wausau that I would not feel safe in, common sense goes a long ways but it seems a lot of people don’t have that. I could come back tomorrow to Rocky Point, I sure enjoyed my visit, the problem is getting there.”
Remember Life is A Journey.. Not A Destination and the Destination Starts in Puerto Peñasco