Weeks ago I approached some companies to help my daughters Girl Scout Troop “adopt” ten boys and girls from a Tijuana, Mexico. Little did I know then, that the support and generosity would be simply overwhelming.
The kids (a total of about 75), live in a place called The Purple Palace in Tijuana, Mexico. Less than an hour away from my home in California, but could be miles and miles away. The difference in lives and living is beyond comparison. The kids want for nothing. Perhaps a warm bed, clean clothes, nourishing food. They except kids of all ages with wide open arms. From toddlers wandering the streets in the “red light district” (La Zona Norte Tijuana B.C.), to teens with no where else to turn, to tiny babies left in boxes on door steps.
The Purple Palace started in 2001 by Tyler and Connie Youngkin began renting a big warehouse in the heart of the Red Light district for $1,000 dollars a month. They started with 20 boys. These boys were ones that roamed the streets all night– a night that could include being raped, doing drugs and selling them for prostitution or to pedophiles. In 2003 they opened a dormitory for girls. An interesting twist that the Purple Palace has as opposed to a state ran “orphanage”, is that the kids who are there, want to be there. The children can leave the Purple Palace program anytime they want. The Purple Palace is not a closed institution, but rather a family home. To stay there, they have to go to school and obey the rules.
The Purple Palace Mission
- To give each child a warm, loving, clean home, with nutritious and delicious food.
- To give them encouragement in learning at school and church.
- To give them spiritual education from the Bible.
- To encourage them to be leaders by helping and listening to others.
- To broaden their learning experience with public school, music lessons, computer lab, and community service projects, swimming lessons, english lessons, theater, crafts, and more.
- To receive psychological counseling – individual and group sessions.
- To learn to respect authority.
- The children can stay with us at the Purple Palace until they graduate from trade school or the university. They will need to have the determination to grow and study well.
Obviously out little troop of ten wanted to do all that we could for the kids. I took my communication and relationship with companies and turned it into something helpful for the kids, good for out troop and something rewarding for the companies involved.
Five companies took off with the idea if helping out, and went beyond all our expectations!
Hershey’s — what child doesn’t need some holiday cheer with chocolates in the stocking?! I gigantic box of chocolates were donated. From Bliss Candies to Kit Kats, to cute little Santa’s.
The Children’s Place- Above and beyond the request. The Children’d Place took the need for clothing and shoes for the kids and ran with it! They donated specific sized shoes for each boy and girl, plus an outfit for each one! From durable jeans and khakis to stylish jean skirts for the girls. Simply wonderful!
Little Kids Inc.- They donated some fun Jelly Belly Bubble Wands for the kids! A perfect toy for Christmas morning.
Slugs N’ Bugs– a fun company devoted to helping kids lives more fun through song and dance! They donated Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies, A Slugs & Bugs Christmas, and Slugs & Bugs Under Where? for each child!
Lastly, a private monetary donation of $150, helped purchase more shoes (athletic shoes) for each child, toothpaste, crayons, underwear, and socks. Thank you!
Here are some pictures of the end result.
If you or someone you know would like to help the Purple Palace, please contact them here. They are always in need of food and volunteers!
A HUGE THANK YOU to all companies involved with helping the Purple Palace. Our troop thanks you for your generosity!