LAKE CHAPALA REVIEW
LOVE IN ACTION CHILDREN'S CENTER
CENTRO AMOR EN ACCIÓN
MARCH 2010
VOLUNTEER CHILDREN'S HELP PROGRAMS

[Club Ninos]

"Little Maria,” is two years old, under-developed and suffering from malnutrition. She was abandoned by her mother and arrived at Love in Action beaten from head to foot after authorities took her away from an abusive close relative. Maria has now gained about five pounds and is participating in games and activities with other children in the Nursery. She is becoming more social and loves to be hugged and carried. Food has now become her favorite pastime.

Much of the routine care for the 65 children at Love in Action is performed by a few unpaid resident house mothers. Those that require the most critical care, however, are the 22 infants like Maria up to the age of five. While the two Nursery house mothers provide basic daily care, the Loving Arms and the Club Niños Programs help to provide extra love and nurture from warmhearted non resident volunteers.

The Loving Arms Program depends on these volunteers to perform hands on “love in action” for these youngest children at the Center. The volunteers do not necessarily need to speak Spanish to be part of this program.  They play infantile games with the children, push them on swings, assist them at noontime lunch, or simply hold them and provide a lap to sit on. The children appreciate the loving adult attention they receive and reward their new friends with smiles and hugs.

The Club de Niños Program provides a preschool program for children ages 2½ to 4. On Monday afternoons, the children meet for circle time, structured craft or learning activities and guided play followed by a nutritious snack and tooth brushing. Volunteers work with children on social and development skills. They provide a safe environment for children to try new things and just to have fun. The volunteers have as much fun as this delightful group of children who are full of curiosity and the desire to learn. The Program is now seeking more volunteers, Spanish speakers or not, to expand the classes to five days a week.

For help with the Love in Arms Program, contact Carol at 766-5416 or carol_nilsen@yahoo.com. For help with the Club Niños Program, contact Ruth at 765-5010 or club.de.ninos@loveinactioncenter.org. To learn more about all the Center’s volunteer opportunities, contact Dave at volunteers@loveinactioncenter.org

If you would like to learn more about the Love In Action Center, visit our website at loveinactioncenter.org Guests are welcome to visit the Center in Chapala at Pedro Moreno #76. To schedule a visit call the office between 10 and 2 Monday through Friday at 765-7409.

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