Animas High School senior Ellis McNichol isn’t going to be spending her Christmas break skiing or sleeping in or just hanging out with friends. For three weeks, she’ll be working in an orphanage in La Antigua Guatemala.
And she’s not planning on going empty-handed.
After her first trip to Cusco, Peru, where she worked in a temporary refuge, she said she was struck by the children she met; how they appreciated everything they were given and their thirst for knowledge.
“I noticed how much the children all loved books because some of them couldn’t go to school, and they just had a few tattered books that were read over and over,” she said.
It was then she decided to try to enlist the help of the Durango community for her next work trip, this time to Guatemala.
“I thought how amazing it would be if our local bookstore could contribute to it,” Ellis said. And Maria’s Bookshop agreed.
Through Nov. 23, Ellis, with the help of Maria’s Bookshop, is collecting books to bring to the children she’ll be helping. There is a special display of Spanish-language children’s books at the store that are available for purchase, with 15 percent off.
The shop will also accept donations of Spanish children’s books at the front counter.
Ellis is also taking other donations – she said she needs diapers and bottle formula for the malnutrition center where she’ll be working, and she will also take toys and clothing. However, these items can’t be dropped off at Maria’s – email Ellis instead at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, local companies that would like to help are asked to email Ellis as well.
If anyone would like to stay in contact, Ellis asks that you put your name and address in the books because she’s going to have the kids who receive books write thank you letters.