Community Aid

Agencies that help various aid programs

When It Rains, It Pours….

Photo from This Day in Quotes

Photo from This Day in Quotes

The folks who write about quotes say that this particular phrase was actually coined by Morton Salt when they redesigned their salt recipe so that it would not lump up and clog the shaker when your were trying to pour it.   To them it was a good thing.

Here in San Felipe we have a different perspective on the matter.  It doesn’t rain often but when it does it certainly comes down in torrents.

Personally, I am over 600 miles away from town, so when I started getting reports of the storms going through town I quickly started checking with friends to see what the damage was.  We have a highly resourceful and capable house-sitter so we are good.

Gary and Karen Lewis report that Sonshine Hacienda Children’s Center just needs clean up but the church (Mission San Felipe) has at least one wall  that will need repainting and perhaps some sheet rock that might need replacing.

John Gilbert at 99 Plus 1/Serenity House say they had some flooding in the music room but no losses.

Barbara Bagileo of V.I.V.A. indicated that some of their boxes got wet but she doesn’t think their is any serious damage.

Bill Spraudlin of Casa de Fe Children’s Home said they had a small leak in one of the bedrooms.

I have not heard back from Donna Roberts of Desert Mothers yet.

1270102_10201178945868696_877385569_oSo thus far the only significant loss reported is some flour and diapers at Volunteers Without Limits.  I haven’t got a dollar amount on the loss yet but probably the biggest issue is getting new supplies of diapers delivered from the states.

Update:  VSL losses were 2 large sacks of flour that had just been bought and some adult diapers that were just donated that were not in plastic.  Also some clothing in the store was drenched.

The ladies spent the morning cleaning up from the rain but I haven’t received a report as to whether more water got into the building or not.

Our beaches need lots of hands to clean up after storms

Our beaches need lots of hands to clean up after storms

Martin Romo is perhaps the busiest person in town as the washes bring down all the trash accumulated there when they flood.  The clean up efforts are monumental and Martin is looking for volunteers to help.

Please be careful driving in town and between town and the border as there are a lot of roads that become lakes or rivers when we get this kind of rain.

In addition, it is just not organizations and businesses that suffer from the rains.  If you know people living in the washes or low areas, they could use help recovering from the flooding.  Your neighbors, who are out of town, would also appreciate you keeping an eye on their property and notifying someone if it looks like they have a major problem.  Flooding in itself is a challenge.  Coming back to a house full of mold because it was cleaned up in a timely matter is a whole different issue.

Stay safe and dry.




A Worthy Purpose


Helen Keller
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

Rotarians lend a hand in the final stages of Serenity House

Rotarians lend a hand in the final stages of Serenity House

One thing I have noticed when working with various non-profits in San Felipe is that they almost all share at least one common benefactor, the Rotary Club of San Felipe.  Last Christmas they were there with Christmas baskets for the elderly.  In the Spring they were there with help for the Cancer Society. They were there with help for the Better Together eye surgery program and Bag Ladies fresh foods deliveries.  Is there a need for scholarships?  They do that too. It seems like they are always there when there is a need here in San Felipe or world-wide.

Rotary Interact Youth from Sonora, AZ and San Felipe work together to give the VSL thrift shop and food bank a new look.

Rotary Interact Youth from Sonora, AZ and San Felipe work together to give the VSL thrift shop and food bank a new look.

The Rotarians contribute cash when there is a need for cash but their good works do not stop with monetary donations.  They work with the young people of the community, mentoring through the Rotary Interact Club, teaching and leading them by example as they get involved and lend a hand to all the other organizations.  They and their state-side cohorts are not afraid to get down and dirty either.  They haul out paint brushes or tool belts as needed and participate in building projects and make-overs.  The Rotarians will tackle anything from building a playground from the ground up to putting together a tamale festival to give the local people an opportunity to earn their own funding.  They see a need and look for a solution.


Rotarians helped launch the San Felipe United for Education Foundation

If you go the website of their International Headquarters you will find the root of all this do-gooding.  The Rotarians ask themselves: “What would it take to change the world?” Rotary’s 1.2 million members believe it starts with a commitment to Service Above Self.

Just before leaving San Felipe this summer we were invited to a regular Monday breakfast meeting of the local Rotary Club, they presented Volunteers Without Limits with a $600 check for nutritional supplements and food.  At the end of their meeting they closed with a list of guidelines that impressed me.  I contacted Teresa Smith the current club president to refresh my memory and learned that these principles are called The Four Way Test.  They are:


1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


Click anywhere on one of the four items to learn more about the history of this test and the Rotarians.  If you are looking for a way to be of service to your community, this just may be the organization you are looking for.

Not A World of Our Own


Albert Schweitzer
Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Everyman has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth.  You must give some time to your fellow man. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who need help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own.  Your brothers are here too.

This could as easily read: … your sisters are here too but breast cancer does not play favorites, breast cancer can strike males as well as females.

cancer walkSeven or eight years ago when the question was asked about where do the women of San Felipe go for breast exams or mammograms, they were told: “There is no breast cancer in San Felipe.”  Just like “there are no homeless in San Felipe.”  “There are no children with disabilities in San Felipe.”  Yeah, right!!!

The gals asking this question were not easily put off.  They immediately set to work to put together what has become the Cancer Society of San Felipe which sponsors an annual Cancer Walk each year to raise funds and awareness for early cancer detection.  Both of these women, Michelle MacDonald and Freda Barber were no strangers to the battle against cancer.  They had fought that fight themselves.  It was their own experiences that lead them to be believers in the need for regular exams and mammograms.

With the donation of an analog mammogram machine which was donated by the John Muir Hospital in Northern California and coordinated by Concord-Clayton Valley Sunrise Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of San Felipe, the Cancer Detection Center opened it’s doors in May 2009 with a full time nurse and part time support staff.

Because of their commitment to this cause, San Felipe now has a clinic staffed with professionals where over over 6000 patients have been provided free PAP Smears and palpable breast exams.  Statistically, 11.5% of those seen are diagnosed with problems of one degree or another. Of male PSA tests, 10% of the results return with elevated numbers.  In addition to cancer screening and counseling, the San Felipe Cancer Society has financially helped hundreds of patients as young as a 3 year old diagnosed with leukemia and a 23 year old with thyroid cancer.

Because the government does not authorize payment for transportation to the nearest medical facilities two hours away or pay for some cancer treatments, the Society will step in and pay when other funding sources are unavailable.  They also assist patients in maneuvering through the governmental health system so that they receive those services and treatments the system offers.

MacDonald however would be the first to tell you that they haven’t done this alone.   The first Cancer Walk was launched, with the help and assistance of the “Rotary Club of San Felipe”, “The San Felipe Association of Retired Persons” and the “Club Las Amigas, in March 2007.  In February, 2013, the Society held its 7th annual cancer walk, again with the backing and participation of many other non-profits like those just mentioned, including Volunteers Without Limits and Better Together in Christ.

Because of their contribution to the community the Society has been offered the use of the 1,700 sq. ft. “San Felipe Chamber of Commerce” building on a long term – no cost “loan” of the property. The new facility will locate the clinic in a more central location for community accessibility and provide the space for added services. Currently, the new clinic is being remodeled and will open September 1, 2013.

The new facility will provide three examination rooms, for physical exams, ultra-sounds, and mammograms, a health education area and reception / waiting area. The society has received colposcopy equipment for which use space is currently unavailable but will be able to be used at the new facility. The inclusion of ultrasound service will eliminate the need to provide patient transportation to Mexicali, the closest ultrasound medical facility and reduce the number of actual mammograms.

The Society’s annual operating budget includes NO administrative fees. All administration is strictly volunteer. The operating revenue has come from the Annual Cancer Walk and private and group donations.

Personal Note: I don’t think there is a person reading this who can not think of a friend or family member affected by cancer.  So if you are looking for a place where you can do some good for someone, the Cancer Society should definitely be one of  the contenders for your time and/or money.

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