BENEFITING: RAVEN MARIA BLANCO FOUNDATION INC
Why South Africa?
Mario, Raven’s father, watched his world crumble after the death of his first born child. He left living, lost somewhere in the limbo of grief. He could not move in the fog. For a little over a year, Mario spent his day’s sitting by his daughter’s grave site and writing to Raven on her website every day. One day, love and chance gave Mario the strength to pick himself up.
A new venture promised awakening. Mario invested in a piece of land in South Africa, determined to rise again. While visiting the property and touring the area, Mario encountered children scattered in the streets, dressed in tattered clothing and kicking up sand. This picture stayed with Mario. Planning for his next excursion incited him to purchase 100 soccer balls at the local sporting goods store. The mission began: Mario passed the balls around to his family, friends, and neighbors, asking everyone to add a little something to the circular canvas. Autographs, quotes, drawings, and messages of hope adorned the balls. Mario wanted the children to know that there were people thinking about them – an ocean apart, but connected in love.
Upon arriving once more in South Africa, Mario gave the soccer balls to those same children that captivated his heart. He had no idea what he was doing. Their faces illuminated with joy! Bouncing balls and smiling faces revived Mario. The real gift was given to him. For the first time in almost two years, he saw Raven’s smile reflected in the bright faces of these South African children. Raven was there.
In that moment, Mario realized his life’s purpose, grateful to Raven for bringing it to him. He could hear her voice, “Yes, daddy, this is what you should do.Help the children!” Raven would have loved this! She would have seen the need and jumped in to help. Her spirit played in the winds, glimpses of purple dashed through the air. Mario, able to breathe again, knew this was something he had to continue.
When he returned to the states, a new man set foot on the ground. The mission was clear. Mario opened the Raven Maria Blanco Foundation, Inc. with the intent of motivating all proceeds to help children around the globe. His first project is to build a school, recreation center, and church for those same children he gave the soccer balls to. Mario has already invested over $10,000 of his personal funds, but he needs your help in raising the additional $20,000 needed for completion. We are taking one step at a time, starting slowly, but ready to run when the funds meet the vision. Please give what you can. Help Mario make his daughter proud by giving to her name. Together, we can create new life, new hope, and new love for the world’s forgotten; we can fulfill the potential that danced vibrantly in Raven’s eyes.