This actually was the first ever can't make this stuff up, in the history of our charity; even before it was Dear Future, Inc.
Read on, you can't make this stuff up...
Back in 2018, my adopted brother and I were considering ways to join forces and create an international consultancy agency between US and Peru. Unfortunately we weren't able to find the secret sauce to make that happen, and instead, or for the meantime, we decided to do something for charity. Something small, something we could afford and at the same time give us the opportunity to meet in Peru.
As I was preparing to go to Peru, we started to put together a purse of money to spend on something. We didn't know yet what.
I'd like to point out the fact that at this time we did not have any ideas or interest to form a nonprofit yet; but I can certainly tell that this action was one of the forming experiences that led us to make that decision... 2 year later.
Between Fernando and I we put together just under $1000 from our personal money, and decided that we would visit some orphanages, and look into other opportunities to help. We had decided that we would not give anybody money, but instead, we would do the purchasing for the needs expressed to us.
In the US, I reached out to all my neighbors and friends around my house, and expressed to them that I wanted to bring some clothes to Peru and assumed that I should be able to donate it somehow. Since I was traveling internationally, I would be allowed to bring two 50 Lbs bags and that would be sufficient for me to fill them up with children's clothes. They all agreed to look-and-see what they could give but it was my work friends at DZYNE Technologies that surprised me with large amounts of clothes, that I essentially would not be able to take to Peru completely.
This story is about Art Perez.
Art is an extremely skilled electronics technician, inspector, mentor, leader, and everything great that comes from a man that is good in the heart and carries with him the experience of a 100 year old man.
Art is a father, a grandfather, a loving husband and a great friend.
A couple days prior to my departure, Art approached me and told me that he had some clothes for me, and asked if I was still receiving. Of course, I said; and he led me to his car to pick up three large yard trash bags full of children clothes. I thanked him, I said to him "Art, I don't think I can take all of this" and he responded "it's ok Ric" you can donate what you can't take. We agreed and moved on
When I got home that evening, I went through all of the bags and gravitated towards a bag full of new born clothing. I had no purpose for these clothes but couldn't ignore the fact that I had them there.
After thinking about what to do, I decided to take the new born clothes with me; quickly made some room in my carryon backpack, and ended my packing.
In the bags I took a lot of clothes from my neighbors, clothes from my coworkers and in my backpack all of the new born clothes; still not knowing what do do with them. When my brother and I thought of helping children, we never thought of new born babies. Where do you even find new born babies?
I arrived in Peru without issues or any events, and proceeded to the city of Trujillo, where my brother lives; where I was born and where my childhood grounds are. We immediately started to visit the couple orphanages we knew, and didn't really find the place where we would commit our money and donate our clothes to; so we kept searching.
Up next, was a visit we needed to coordinate with an orphanage that we knew was led by nuns, and only housed girls. We made an appointment for the head nun with the secretary of the orphanage, and asked from her if she knew anybody or institution in Trujillo that we could donate some new born clothes to.
Her answer was Yes.. Us...
"We don't normally take new borns but we commited to one little girl; and I'd be happy to take those clothes from you, are they for a boy or a girl?"
What a coincidence, we said. Here you go, the clothes are for a girl. Thank you, she said and gave us a day and time to meet with the head nun.
A day later we finally met with her and she gave us a tour of the facilities and we quickly stopped to meet the now famous new born baby.
Her story was incredible to us: She had been abandoned at two days old in a public bathroom; and to her fortune, after many passer biers, a Dr. finally found her and immediately took action.
The story is that he wanted to adopt her, but either the law or the rules of ethics for medicine, prevented him from adopting her; so he had to hand her over to an orphanage, and requested that they named her after his mother: Sofia Graciela.
We were so excited to know that our clothes, that we had gotten from Art's granddaughter found a baby, that would use them.
After our meeting I couldn't wait to write to Art and tell him about what had just happened, and how it all unfolded; starting with the fact that I wasn't even going to bring the clothes.
Art, you won't believe this, this is a picture (I sneaked a shot and attached it to the email) of Sofia Graciela, she is less than 30 days old and all your granddaughter's clothes are going to her. How cool is that?
Art's response was:
Incredible Ric... My daughter's name is Sofia...