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January 2023 Happenings
Hope House in Mexico

"Insights into HHCR/Hope House Accounting"

Here is our monthly (más o menos) newsletter to keep our friends and family updated on what is happening with Hope House Children's Relief (HHCR) and Hope House in Mexico. For those who don't know, HHCR is our not-for-profit 501(c)3 and all donations received are directed solely to Hope House (Casa Hogar Mi Esperanza en el Corazon) in Ixtlahuacan de Los Membrillos, Jalisco, Mexico. The newsletter will provide updates on the boys - especially the new ones - a little insight into the staff, teams, vocational training, projects, and items of special interest.  If you know of someone that would be interested in HHCR/Hope House, Mexico updates, they can subscribe here.

A copy of last month's newsletter can be found here.  If you go to this website there is a link to all previous newsletters.
Our Boys
Hope House is now at 14 boys. A new boy came this month. He is Emiliano and his photo is below. Welcome Emiliano!

Hope House is still looking to continue growth as the facilities, staff, and finances have the ability to support more.
Meet Another Staff Member
The staff member is Edgar Armando, someone who works tirelessly behind the scenes but is extremely essential to the successful operation of Hope House. Here is what Annel says about him.

He is Edgar Armando, who is in charge of the institution's numbers and internal accounting.  He is the father of a beautiful girl, whom he holds in his arms.  Although he is not present all the time in the house, he is always in contact with us regarding his work.  Edgar is a very organized and dedicated man, which makes him ideal for the role he exercises in the institution.

 He has been collaborating at Hope House since 2017 and is very helpful in terms of numbers.

 As we mentioned before, he is not someone who spends a lot of time in the facilities, however, the days that he goes, he never misses the opportunity to greet the children and play with them.  Undoubtedly, Edgar is a great element that works behind the scenes, but his role is essential in the proper functioning of the house.

Walt worked with Edgar directly several years ago and then by email since. He is always precise and rapid with his responses. Walt is very impressed by his efficiency, accuracy and rapid responses. 

Below is photo of Edgar and his beautiful daughter.
HHCR/Hope House Accounting
We are sure that a subject of interest is how donations find their way to Hope House and how secure are the funds if something unforeseen happens to us. Rest assured, the simple answer is that every donation dollar gets safely converted to pesos and into the hands of administration staff. of Hope House.  HCCR is close to being the sole funding conduit thanks to donors such as yourselves. So there is a significant responsibility. However, there is a very robust system in place,

First of money comes through various paths, all of which we monitor very closely. There are two zero fee paths. First is mailing a check to our Texas address, 2163 Lima Loop, 071198,  Laredo, TX 78045. Checks should be made out to "Hope House Children's Relief". The downside is it takes the mail about two weeks to get to us. However, once we have a check, we have VPN and can deposit directly by phone into the HHCR BofA account in the US. The second zero fee is to use the PayPal button on the "Support" page of the HHCR website.

Using an ACH direct deposit via our website will incur a 1% fee. The next is to use a credit or debit card for one-time or recurring donations. However, the payment processor charges a 3.3% transaction fee, which they will deduct from the donation amount that HHCR receives.  Alternately you may donate a little extra to help defray this expense.  

A good question is what happens to these funds in the event that something happens to us. That possibility has been addressed by adding one of our directors on the HHCR board, Phil Wang, on this account as one of the signatories with total access to the US account. Speaking of contingencies, a reserve is maintained in the event that something should happen on the Mexican side.

Once the funds are safely accounted for in the HHCR BofA account, every other week  transfers are made to the Hope House Mexico account. The transfer rate is zero. However, banks always give a little less than the official peso/dollar exchange rate. 

In Mexico, business bank accounts require two signatures to move any funds. For the Hope House account this is Omar and Edgar. This provides another level of security. Also, just as there is a reserve in the HHCR US account, there is a reserve maintained in the Hope House Mexico account.

The two reserves, one in the US and other in Mexico, are for both anticipated expenses, such as the aguinaldo, salaries, cost of running the home, and van, and also for unforeseen and unexpected expenses that always crop up. These reserves give a comfort zone in any operations at Hope House.
Boy's Activities
Christmas is over, we are into a new year and school is back. So there isn't very much to report -- not even a birthday. But other things continue on.

In the photos below, some of the boys are involved in various activities. In the first set is the boys eating the "Rosca de Reyes", which is a Mexican tradition. They bake a ring shaped bread and put little white plastic babies inside so when you cut a piece of bread, if you do get one of the toys, you have to buy tamales on 2 February for everyone. In the first row of the set below is Jonathan on the left and Toño on the right. In the second row is Ismael on the left and Oscar on the right. And finally in the third row is Emmanuel on the left and Diego on the right. You can see the little white babies.
Below are photos that Oscar, on the left, and Jonathan, on the right, made to help them do mathematical summations in elementary school; a rudimentary computer. These boys made these as homework for school. It is all a part of the  boy´s education, which was totally unavailable to them prior to coming to Hope House.

The second photo is Jonathan when he came out from behind his summing machine
Every once in a while the entire aquaonics system needs to be cleaned out. This includes the water beds, fish tanks and growth areas. The photos below give a feel of this cleaning process.A lot of old growth has to be pulled out and thrown away into a compost heap. The aquaponic boys do an excllent job, as can be seen in the photos below. There is a big reward for all this effort as seen in the photo in the first row on the far right. There, Josué the grand master of Aquaponics, is seen pulling a large tilapia fish caught in the net. The tilapia is too big to return to the tank so it becomes part of a grand fish feast.
Scholarship Program
We currently set aside a scholarship account that has $3335 available for scholarships for the boys. This is an excellent start and we are looking to see this grow so that the boys really have hope for the future.

This account is the result of one of HHCR''s generous donors who raised the question of a scholarship program and another donor that has been providing donations designated for scholarships. The timing is very appropriate as some of the boys are 16 and 17 years old and university is a distinct possibility in the next year or so, as is the case with Toño featured in last month's newsletter. University is very affordable in Mexico. For example, an architecture degree can be obtained from a private university for approximately $150 per month. So it is doable. The most important considerations are: are the boys interested and motivated to pursue a degree and/or have they met entrance requirements. Because of their backgrounds the lack of preparatory school can be challenge. However, Hope House tutors the boys for this possibility. The one or two year time frame allows working out some of these issues. However, it is important to have the scholarship program in place and ready to go.

Van Replacement
Because of a worldwide chip shortage, this project is still on hold. Suitable vans just aren't available right now. When a van becomes available, we have the funds to buy it

The HHCR website provides the capability to direct funds for the purchase of a van. Click on "Donate via Hope House Children's Relief Website" below and then click on "Van". If you use PayPal Giving Fund, reply with an email designating the van as the desired donation
Hope House Videos

A link to a Hope House promotional video can be found here. Another video, made when the Creekside Bible Church team was at Hope House can be found here. If you have never been to visit Hope House as a team, you can see from the videos how special that time is. Just contact us here and we will set things up for you.
Donation Options
Remember, HHCR has been approved by PayPal as a legitimate 501(c)3 charity. This makes HHCR part of the PayPal Giving Fund. The impact is that all donations made through the PayPal Giving Fund are free of any fees. And since HHCR operates without any management fees, every dollar donated through use of the PayPal Giving Fund button goes 100% to Hope House. Some of our donors have already made use of this opportunity to donate to HHCR.  Donations, including recurring donations can also be made via Clover Donations through our website, PayPal, bank transfer, or via check to our Laredo address.  At this time the PayPal Giving Fund only works for one-time donations. Recurring donations can be made through the regular PayPal link, which will add on a fee that is deducted from the donation.

HHCR is now also registered for Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) with Fidelity Charitable. 

You, too, can make a difference.

Even the smallest donation helps a boy have the safety, security, and love of a home environment, plus the education to succeed in life.

Donate via PayPal Giving Fund - no Fee to Donor
Donate via Hope House Children's Relief Website
Hope House Children's Relief
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2163 Lima Loop #071198  Laredo, Texas  78045

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