Monday, January 11, 2016

Giving Back To The Community......In Panama

Every year CASA (Coronado Area Social Association) an organization that we are involved with gives back to the community in a big way.  President of CASA Louise and Clyde her Vice President and right hand man, put in hours of work to make this day of giving come true.  They team up with Maribel, a Panamanian women who hosts the event at her house.  Several local businesses either donate money or buy food to help fill food baskets that are presented to needy families with handicapped members.  Along with a local band and some support from Maribel's church, both gringo's and Panamanians come together to throw one grand fiesta of giving.

Presenting The Gifts.....From Left To Right
Maribel, Clyde, Louise And Terry with One Of The Kids 

CASA raised both money and food to fill 100 bags that were presented to deserving families.  Mailboxes Etc. donated red, canvas bags to hold the many items.  Clyde and Louise spent plenty of time talking to local businesses and individuals who all helped make the event possible.  It's not easy going to local grocery stores to buy 100 of each item along with added goodies like candy, school supplies, phone cards and more. The bags were stuffed to the brim with necessities like:  toilet paper, soap, rice, beans, pasta, sauces, mayonnaise, flour, canned sardines, vegetable oil, a canned ham, etc....along with some goodies for the kiddos like cookies, candies, toys, pencils and erasers.  Add to this gifts donated by a local church which brought a smile to the 100 families in attendance.
Other local groups like the Rotary Club helped provide wheel chairs for poor families that needed them too. 

More Gift Giving

We arrived on site early to watch as the families began arriving a while later.  Buses pulled up delivering families with handicapped kids, some being carried in by their Mothers because they either didn't have wheel chairs or they were not able to bring them on the bus.  Several of us chatted with the Mom's in Spanish to inquire if they needed wheel chairs or not.

A View Of The Crowd

Louise And One Of The Kids

As the party began the families were fed a meal of rice, beans, meat, bread and salad.  Balloons were blown up and handed out along with ice cream cones, cake, candy and drinks. CASA members created crowns from craft foam and adorned them with fun stickers, glitter and other trinkets.  Photos were taken of each child and then printed on site and given out to each family as a keepsake of the event also. 

And More.....

Lots Of Smiling Faces

I put on my elf costume and danced the day away with some of the kids.  Another expat wore a Santa's helper outfit and did some of the same.  A Panamanian women showed up dressed as a "payaso," or clown.  She delighted the crowd with her charming presence and created balloon animals to give out to the kids.
Dancing With The Kiddos

As usual a big thanks goes out to all those who gave of their time, talents, money and donations of food, photos, a printer or anything else.  A big, heartfelt thank you goes out to the following:  To Ferreteria HIM, a local Chinese owned hardware store for their generous donation of many food items. To Mailboxes Etc. for having canvas bags made to hold the food. Inside Panama Real Estate for monetary contributions.  Coronado Frame Shop for allowing us to use her printer along with financial support.  As well as many others who donated or raised money to help those in need.

Tons Of Smiles....

Little Princes.....

I'm Too Cool To Smile....

And Princesses.....

And Wide Eyed Little Munchkins....

Don't Bother Me I'm Eating.....

Ice Cream?....What Ice Cream...

I'll let the photos explain the rest as you get a glimpse into our day of sharing in Panama......along the gringo trail.

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