October 2021 provided Make a Miracle with plenty of miracles. This past month, the organization celebrated two remarkable milestones: 100 homes built for 100 families, and approving a 100th student for higher learning.
In 2015, we started with a simple goal of building one home for a young mother and her two children. Marisol had been living in a women’s shelter with her two boys for several years. After learning her story Make a Miracle helped them move forward in life by building them security. Fast forward six years, MAM has constructed 100 homes, providing 100 families with warmth, shelter and most importantly, well-being.
Make a Miracle constructions are primarily built by a group of enthusiastic college scholarship students. Even though 22 have already graduated from college, they still come out and volunteer with us. Make a Miracle’s Program Director Rachel Canouse remembers the not-so-distant past, “When we only had ten people come out for a build it was really difficult to get the job done. Now that we have grown to more than 100 students with “Team Miracle,” we have about 40 to 50 volunteers show up, meaning we have to find other projects for them to work on.” She admitted, “It’s OK, though, as there are plenty of other opportunities to help such as stair building and painting to be done in the San Juan de Lurigancho community!”
The students enjoy giving back; many mentioned that it is their way of making a difference in the community. According to current scholarship student, Sebastian Guevara, “It is an intensely satisfying feeling working together to make families happy. We consider ourselves part of their families once we finish a home; we know that feeling will stay forever in our hearts.”
Completed house number 100 was developed for a family of five that includes three boys. Eight-year-old, Jason, was the one who put in the application for his family to receive the new home. President and Founder of Make a Miracle, Carolyn Canouse, was there for this October 23 event. “Special does not begin to describe how it felt to have built our 100th house. Jason is part of our ‘Star Kids’ program and whenever we are working in the community, he is always there helping! He loves assisting us with projects and even helped with his own home. Who says young people can’t make a difference?”
Also, during this time, Make a Miracle approved five new applicants to bring the total number of scholarships awarded to 102. Education continues to be the cornerstone of MAM as it sees the number of educational scholarships offered climb each quarter.
In celebration of 100 homes and 100 students, we hosted a free vet clinic for 100 cats and dogs for the local community. Each animal was provided a vaccine card so it can complete its shot regiment; in two weeks, we will follow up with a spay and neuter clinic. The community was exceedingly grateful for this service, and several in attendance mentioned that this organization is one step closer to providing community wellness in the San Antonio de Padua neighborhood of San Juan de Lurigancho.
A dream of the community president is to add greenery to the entire neighborhood. This not only helps clean the air and adds beauty but it can also provide food. In order to celebrate “the month of 100’s,” our team gave out 100 fruit trees to be planted by the residents. Make a Miracle looks forward to working closely with this deserving community to increase wellness for as many as possible.