Sister Lillian counsels a patient during a home visit.*
Special Day of Giving for COVID-19 inspires a generous response
On May 5, the Chimbote Foundation participated in a special Day of Giving for non-profits affected by the coronavirus. Many in-person charitable events have been cancelled across the country due to the pandemic, including the 16th Annual Monsignor Roos Memorial Golf Outing that was planned for early June. To offset the loss of these important funding sources, we reached out to our supporters on May 5 and were overjoyed at the magnitude of the donations. To date, we have received $13,490 in gifts, and with a 100 percent match, the grand total is now at $26,980! The campaign is open until May 31, so you may still make a gift at https://www.givebigpittsburgh.com/organizations/chimbote-foundation.
“We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors in responding to the Give Big Pittsburgh COVID-19 campaign,” said Chimbote Foundation Board Member Gretchen Roos. “When so many in the U.S. have been personally and financially hit hard during this pandemic, this outpouring of support – more than $13,000 – for our poor in Chimbote left me speechless. In response, the matching donation was raised from the original $5,000 to a full 100 percent match. Please know how extremely grateful and blessed we are by your compassion and kindness to our brothers and sisters in Chimbote.”
A father visits his newborn at the Maternidad.*
Sr. Margaret Mary Birchmeier, OP, one of the administrators at the Center, was deeply thankful for the generous response, as well. The mission, while still operating, has been required to cut back to only essential services, so income is still greatly impacted. “Our challenges continue; although a strict curfew remains in place, the number of coronavirus cases is still rising,” Sister explained. “Since mid- April, cases have increased in Chimbote from about 100 to nearly 800.”
“Income at the Center in April was down more than 80% compared to pre-COVID-19 months of January and February,” she said. “We continue to pay all of our personnel as required by the government and pay the high costs of personal protective equipment (PPE) to safeguard those employees who continue to work at the Center.”
Many families live in simple shelters made from whatever materials are available.*
The emergency clinic and maternity hospital continue to treat everyone who shows up except for the COVID-19 patients whom they are required to send to a designated hospital. The government regulations, including the curfew, remain in place as is the obligation to continue to pay all their staff members. These requirements have also caused significant administrative complications since the banks have reduced their operating hours and have very long lines for service. But the staff members continue to work diligently to comply with all the regulations so the Center can continue to care for those who have nowhere else to turn for help.
“Despite all of the challenges,” says Sister Margaret Mary, “we remain strongly committed to carrying out the increasingly important work of serving the poor of Chimbote as best we can. Your financial support and prayers truly sustain us.”
Most people living in the barrios do not have access to running water in their homes.*
*Note: These photos were taken before the pandemic.
24 Children Now Receiving Care at the Center
The Monsignor Roos Children’s Center & Shelter at the Mission is tending to a sizable group of infants and toddlers at the moment. There have been three orphans placed in their care since the pandemic started, bringing their total to 24 children as of May 17. The most recent addition is this beautiful little baby girl named Christina.
Your ongoing support helps to provide a safe living situation for these vulnerable children—including food, clothes, medical care—and enables the caregivers to provide a stable, loving and nurturing environment for all of them.