The songs that play in Kathleen Duncan’s head, we can’t imagine, but she always makes sure we get the beat as we have faithfully watched her turn bad to good; pull pleasant from deplorable; change lives of dozens of children one by one and in small groups where her love could be spread to do the best. She was and is Tía Katy. And she’s done it again. But, please don’t let her hear us say that. She honestly doesn’t know this part from anything other than her dogged determination to keep the good going. After more than three years of constantly growing successes with the Amores de Peñasco Shelter children, Kathleen took the new administration’s change of direction with classy acceptance and only after being satisfied that her shelter brood would continue to experience growing successes in their little lives. The song that played in Kathleen’s head was a reflective one—and this time we get the beat and the melody. Kathleen is turning that “road fond and narrow” of helping a child at a time, into a five lane expressway to help the many children in need of a Tía Katy, not just in Amores de Peñasco, but throughout our needy community and even other nearby communities, starting with our Sonoyta neighbors to the north.
Yep. Within the weeks between September and the recent holidays, that song in Kathleen’s head evolved into a new Civil Association, ‘Asistencia Integral para Menores (Integral Assistance for Minors) de Puerto Peñasco’ (A.I.M. de PP) which, in Tía Katy’s own words, “…will be able to help so many other children with so many needs in the community and there are also many individuals and organizations within the community that are doing wonderful work trying to improve the lives of children there.” Instead of her time being so directly and personally involved in one specific program, with the help of the non-profit Steps of Love organization Kathleen and her board can operate AIM much like a U.S. Foundation, awarding grants and providing other types of support to individuals and organizations serving the needs of children, “…including continuing to provide critical support at the Amores de Peñasco Shelter.”
Below is the outline of the AIM vision and plans which she made available in an earlier email and at a recent press conference.
ASISTENCIA INTEGRAL PARA MENORES de PUERTO PENASCO (AIM of PP)
What is AIM of PP: A Mexican Civil Association that was formed in 2015 in order to support programs and projects serving children living in Puerto Penasco, Mexico and nearby communities.
What is the mission of AIM of PP: To provide support that can transform the lives of children who are not thriving due to poverty, disabilities or other challenges.
How will AIM of PP support children: By providing grants and other types of support for various projects and programs that serve children living in Puerto Penasco and nearby communities.
What types of programs will AIM of PP support: Any program or project that attempts to create opportunities for and improve the lives of children in need. Priority will be given to funding programs or projects established and operated by individuals or organizations within the community rather than programs from outside the community or country.
How will AIM of PP receive the funds to support programs: AIM of PP will rely on fundraising efforts in both the United States and Mexico. Funds raised to support AIM of PP through the U.S. non-profit organization Steps of Love (www.stepsoflove.org) will be transferred to the Mexican bank account of AIM of PP. Funds raised in Mexico will deposited directly in the AIM of PP account.
How will AIM of PP decide which projects to support: Any public or private organization or individual serving children in need in the community will be eligible to submit an application to receive support through AIM of PP. An advisory committee made up of volunteers from within the community will evaluate all applications and determine which programs and projects receive support.
Other than financial support, what types of support will AIM of PP provide: In addition to funding, AIM of PP will be able to coordinate and facilitate groups of volunteers as well as in-kind donations of items needed to support eligible programs and projects.
What are some examples of how AIM of PP might support children: Sponsorship of children with special needs to attend the Equine Therapy Program; Funding for the children at Esperanza, Amores de Penasco and Pasos de Amor to attend various classes and activities in the community such as Tae Kwan Do, swim lesson, Equine Therapy, etc.; Remedial education support for students at Esperanza, ADP and Pasos de Amor; Funding for books, uniforms and exam fees for local secondary schools students who might otherwise be unable to continue their education; scholarships for students to attend private, bilingual schools; support for activities and classes being provided for children at DIF operated or privately operated community centers; coordination of groups of volunteers to help with activities and projects serving children; coordination of donation drives for materials and supplies needed by programs serving children.
Kathleen went through with her planned Golf Tournament Fundraiser at The Links at Las Palomas Condominiums in February that raised approximately $7,000 USD which Tía Katy says will benefit the Pasos de Amor children’s home in Sonoyta, the Amores de Peñasco Children’s Shelter in Rocky Point and the Civil Association Asistencia Integral para Menores de Puerto Peñasco (AIM Peñasco).
No matter what song plays in Kathleen Duncan’s head, we know that it’s always, and all, about the kids.
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