The First Annual Ropa de Relief Pancake Breakfast was held Sunday Feb 23rd in Downtown Phoenix. It was more successful than any of us could have hoped for, with nearly 120 people in attendance and raising over $4,500 for scholarships/home building in Ranquitte! For those of us who attended, it was strikingly obvious that people care. I know that may seem a bit cliché, but it’s the most accurate way to describe the generous donations and turnout at the event. For those of us who have been to Ranquitte, we know how much of a difference an education and roof makes for the community. Aside from the obvious benefits, it empowers the community and goes far beyond the simple donation. I just finished wire transferring much of the funds raised to Haiti, so here’s a preliminary list of what the money has gone to:
-1 Nursing Scholarship ($1,100)
-1 Medical Scholarship ($825)
-1 Home built in Ranquitte ($1,500)
-1 Roof being replaced in Ranquitte ($400)
We work as partners in the community, building on the strengths they already have to help meet their goals. We’re not looking to change hearts and minds, except for maybe our own. It takes doing something uncomfortable and taking a risk. Speaking only for myself, throwing a breakfast for 100+ people is far more stressful than going to Haiti to offer medical care, but well worth the effort. I’ve found that working with Ropa has lead to a substantial shift of my comfort zone, and taking part in events like the breakfast feels like unknown territory. Nonetheless, I’m always glad I took part in the challenge.
For the past few years, I’ve been toying with the idea that taking risks isn’t a bad thing. It rarely turns out as expected, but it’s always worth trying. In various parts of my life, I’ve tested this theory and yet to be proven wrong. The more nervous or uncomfortable I was to try something, the happier I seem to be that I did. You can take this as advice, or just the ranting of an increasingly-less-neurotic grown man. Either way, know that Ropa de Relief operates under the assumption that we can make a difference by taking calculated risks in communities who need of help.
Lastly, we owe a HUGE thanks to all the donors, sponsors, breakfast lovers, and volunteers. Without all of them, the event would not have been possible!
P.S. If you haven’t read Colten’s post just before this one, do so immediately!