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Michael Luebbert's Fundraiser:

Sacando Sonrisas "Bringing Smiles"

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Michael Luebbert


A powerful program that engages youth in community service is starting in Pátapo, Peru. Pátapo is a town of 28,000 people off of the northern coast of Peru. The town has a disproportianately large percentage of extreme poverty, malnourishment, and youth pregnancies. In order to engage youth in service learning and promote a social consciousness, this program was started. The program name is Sacando Sonrisas which means “bringing smiles”. In cooperation with the Young Leaders of Pátapo, the program was developed in order to promote community engagement amongst youth by supporting the families with the most pressing challenges. Every other Sunday, the Young Leaders of Pátapo will surprise a family living in impoverished circumstances. They will show up with a basket of non-perishable goods (cooking and cleaning supplies, sports equipment, books, bracelets and toys for the kids) and then help around the house by cleaning, painting, and making necessary repairs. The young leaders will take time to play with the children of the family, and chat with the parents. The morning chores will culminate with a giant lunch that will be prepared by the youth volunteers and then shared amongst the family and the members of the youth group. This project has the potential to be a really inspirational and beautiful thing. They decided on the name Sacando Sonrisas because at the end of the day, they hope to at least bring a smile to a few people’s faces. This project will not end poverty by any means, but it will certainly promote social awareness and community engagement amongst youth while practicing compassion and humanity throughout this loving town. It is their dream that they will spread joy and hope through their actions and these feelings will spread contagiously throughout the region. As the project becomes better known in and around Pátapo, they will eventually solicit the support of a long-term sponsor in the form of a local business or government that shares the vision in engaging youth volunteers in order to help people in need.



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