Toys For Children
Relationship Building is an integral part of the Porch de Salomon ministry. A big part of Joe's (Payaso Yo Yo's) mission is sharing the love with children. Like any good clown, there are always plenty of balloons, bubbles, toys, and magic tricks followed by "Jesus Loves Me" in Spanish and VBS-type stories. The unfortunate part is that it does not take long to go through the physical stock. We are always in need of more supplies to give to the children. With this in mind, we ask for help collecting care packages for the kids. New or used does not matter; kids here are happy to receive whatever toys we have. If you, your family, friends, or church group (especially younger Sunday school classes), would like to help in this way, we would certainly appreciate the support.
How It All Works
How It All Works - I've tried to make this page about as simple as possible! It includes just about everything you will need to know about what type of toys we need and the details about shipping. What we are lookingfor is a Sunday school class that is willing to collect toys over a few months, a little each week, and then send them when the suitcase is full. We love to find little suprises as well, like notes from children or whatever. Growing up in Church, mission Sunday was always very special to me. I never thought I would be working onthe mission field some day!
This is a care package sent down with a team provided by Rachel and Ryan Flemming. It includes most everything we use or give away to the children. The coffee is not for the children. The package (along with some clothes), was shipped down with the FSU audology team. Super Thanks Everybody!
Small Toys or Balls
Kids like balls, toy cars, sidewalk chalk or any toy found in a Happy Meal from McDonald's. Smaller toys are easier to get to Guatemala. Stuffed animals are okay, but smaller is better. They tend to take up a lot of space.
Blow Pops / Hard Candy
Hard candy or suckers are such a big hit here with the children. I often do a magic trick at VBS where I pull out an empty pan and produce a pan full of candy from out of nowhere. I usually just toss it up into the air and let the children grab for it. Though the children also like chocolate, it is better to send candy that won't melt in the van.
Tooth Paste, Tooth Brushes and Soap
The children of Guatemala could use tooth brushes, tooth paste, and soap. They may not appreciate it as much as toys, but most need them. In fact, many children here have never owned a tooth brush in their lives. For this reason, we always demonstrate how to properly use tooth brushes when we pass them out, even hygiene details like "a family of 9 kids should not all use the same tooth brush" may be something new to them.
Finger Nail Polish
Most of the little girls like the clear/sparkle nail polish. It also goes on a lot faster than solid colors. Anything with glitter in it usually goes over well.
Blow up Beach Balls or Frisbees
Blow up beach balls and frisbees are always a favorite with the children here in Guatemala. At the end of summer Walmart usually has a big clearance sale onbeach items left in the store. I cannot stress enough how much the kids LOVE blow up beach balls.
Jump Ropes And Soccer Balls
Soccer balls and Jump ropes are used and appreaciated by both boys and girls. When sending soccer balls, it's usually better to send them deflated for sake of space. We have enough soccer ball pumps at this time.
Crayons, Coloring Books, And Stickers
It would be great if the coloring books were Christian Bible stories, but any will do. Children love these - enough said.
A nerf football is always a special treat for the little boys. It can be thrown really high into the air and doesn't hurt when it comes down in a group of boys all trying to catch it.
Bubbles are enjoyed by children of all ages, especially when they are coming out of a bubble machine. The mega super bubbles from Walmart usually work the best. Some bubbles sold at places like the dollar store, even though they are cheap, do not work very well. Please make sure if you do ship bubbles they are sealed in plastic bags.
Balloons for Balloon Animals
These special balloons can be found on the internet (Amazon.com), or at a local magic shop. I use the economic, standard, multi colored balloons for balloon animals. At this time we have plenty of balloon pumps.
Plastic Zip Lock Bags
Whenever possible, please take the toys out of the original packaging and place in plastic bags before shipping. The bags will keep anything from spilling on to the other toys in case something breaks, like a bottle of nail polish. This takes up less space, and makes the toys somewhat water proof during the rainy season. It rains almost 6 months a year here and our VBS shows go on, rain or shine. The plastic bags would really help.
Guatemala Joe and Laura Weaver
Would be happy to come to your Church and speak about the work we do here in Guatemala when we return to the States for a visit. We do have internet (most days) and would be happy to skype, email, or talk on the phone. If you would like to help out with some clown supplies, magic tricks, or costumes, please contact us for a current list of items needed in that area.
All Americans living in Guatemala and working for Porch De Solomon ministries are strictly volunteers. We do not draw any salary from the Porch funds, and solely count on donations to keep us here. Financial
support (and prayers) for "Guatemala Joe" is both needed, and greatly appreciated.