Christmas thank you

Dear friends,

Christmas has come and gone, and the new year has arrived. The women and children of Mujeres con Exito thank you for making this holiday season one of their best ever.

The shelters for women never close—the sad reality of domestic violence keeps us active. The holiday season is when many women finally gather the courage to make the decision to flee—to save their lives and those of their children.

However, our conviction of helping women attain dignified lives free of violence fills us with hope. Upon the arrival of the women to the refuge for Christmas, we prepared a delicious turkey dinner, we have a small but beautiful Christmas tree where we sing Christmas songs. And the part that excites children, and of course the women too, we enjoy passing out the special gifts you have helped us obtain.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? It is beautiful indeed! But it involves hard work and help from the community. You, my friends, always make it possible! This year we raised $9235, just shy of our $10K goal. Thanks to all your contributions, we have given very special gifts to the women who are in the shelter, their children, and the women who have already left the shelter and who have started the process of gaining autonomy.

Giving each gift has been a very exciting experience. It is not about gifts, it is about knowing that you are not alone, that on these special dates there are many people thinking about the joy of someone else and that celebrations without violence are possible.

I want to share with you some of the words that the women have shared with me, with tears of emotion and joy:

“Thank you for never leaving me alone. You are my family.”
“My children will not be able to believe that these gifts are theirs.”
“You saved my life and make me feel that I can [survive].”
“They make me cry with joy and I have not done that for a long time.”
“May God bless you forever. I will never forget this.”
“I thought I would have nothing for these holidays, thank you.”

My friends, I will never tire of repeating it: These are the miracles of Christmas: to see the smiles of those who have almost lost hope; to give them a special Christmas as we all deserve—in a safe space, with new opportunities.

Thank you for your contributions and for buying our calendar. We have more calendars to sell. The rest of the calendar sales will help buy bus passes for the women outside the shelter. This year has not been perfect, but next year will be better. Thanks to those who supported the garage sale, and this year a special thank you to our friends Susan McBride and Debby Larsen, for their hard work to plan, coordinate and consolidate the efforts of the many people who believe in our work. And above all else their continuing devotion to helping our women achieve a dignified life.

For our part, we want to continue our commitment to accompanying the women in their healing processes, attaining autonomy, and forging new paths. We believe it is possible, so we continue!

Finally, I would like to share a few photos of the precious gifts that the women and their children enjoyed this Christmas.

With eternal gratitude, respect, and affection,

Dianita Vazquez Bravo: .

City: Cuenca

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