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Issue 12, Vol. 1 Serving In The Dominican Republic December 2011
President's Message
" . $Name .",


It's Christmas morning and this is my favorite day of the year. I am enjoying a cup of hot cocoa and some homemade s'mores as I write this.

For me, Christmas is much more than just receiving presents. It's a time to reflect on our savior's birth and to embody the spirit of generosity. As I sit by our family Christmas tree, I like to watch as others open their gifts and light-up with joy when they see what's inside.

This year, In the midst of all the gift giving, I found myself day dreaming about the many children around the world (and especially in the Dominican Republic) who don't have the opportunity to receive gifts, enjoy a Christmas tree, or snack on sugary treats.

While my heart did become heavy for a moment, I was quickly overwhelmed with joy when I thought about the 115 children living in La Yaguita de Pastor, Dominican Republic who received a special Christmas this year -- complete with a party, games, and yes...GIFTS!

I hope you enjoy this special Christmas-edition newsletter and that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Please visit Project Mañana's website for more information on how you can partner with Project Mañana; including child sponsorship. Working Together Today For A Better Tomorrow™


Brian Berman, Founder & President

Project Mañana Christmas Party!

With much anticipation, Project Mañana hosted its first annual Christmas party for the children and their families of La Yaguita de Pastor, Dominican Republic.

All 115 children enrolled at Project Mañana's Private School were invited; however there was one request...they needed to bring their parents to the party!

As Project Mañana continues to teach family values and building strong family relationships, we wanted this event to not only celebrate the season, but the importance of family. Joyfully, children and their parents filled the multi-purpose room for an amazing evening!

The party started off with a welcome message from Jonas De Leon (the school's new director -- and Juan De Leon's right hand). Families were reminded of the importance and true meaning of Christmas and encouraged to be "very generous" this year.

Next, a group of very talented students (ranging in ages from 1st to 4th grades) took center stage to present a special Christmas song to everyone (watch the video). Their voices could be heard throughout the neighborhood and really got everyone in the Christmas spirit.

One of the highlights of the evening, was watching a couple parent volunteers play the "balloon game"; where they raced to pop as many balloons as possible in a short amount of time.

The theme of this year's Christmas party was " generosity" and that theme couldn't have been more apparent when it came time to pass out gifts to the children.

For many, this gift is probably the only one they will receive this Christmas (and perhaps the entire year). The hardships faced by the families in La Yaguita de Pastor seemed to be harder this year due to the global economy crisis. Many families are out of work and have no money for food -- much less Christmas presents.

So, Project Mañana, through partnership with our dedicated sponsors, set out to ensure every child received an age-appropriate gift. Before the gifts were passed out, it was announced that each gift was very generously donated by Americans. And, it was one young lady, Rebecca Rodriguez (age 16), who coordinated the collections of 115 gifts! (Read more about Rebecca in the article below.)

This Christmas party took many volunteers, supporters, and donations -- and, Project Mañana would like to thank everyone who helped to bless all the children this year. THANK YOU!

Gifts for 115 children!

Children eagerly awaiting the party to begin

Welcome message by Jonas De Leon

Everyone sang songs

Children with their gifts

Choral group sings for everyone

A child receives his gift

Parents playing the "balloon game"

Honor Student Collects Christmas Gifts for Needy Children

Last year (2010), Project Mañana started an annual tradition of hosting a Christmas Party for the children enrolled at Project Mañana's Private School in La Yaguita de Pastor, Dominican Republic. At that time, there were 50 children in the program and we managed to locate funds to purchase a Christmas gift for each child.

This year, as the program has grown to 115 children, we faced what seemed to be a monumental challenge -- How do we provide a Christmas gift to that many children?

As we began to come up with a strategy to raise funds to purchase Christmas gifts, Project Mañana received an amazing blessing -- her name is Rebecca Rodriguez.

Rebecca (age 16), an honor student and Key Club leader at Oakwood Private School in North Carolina, approached Project Mañana and asked if she could help collect Christmas gifts for this year's party.

While Rebecca's offer to help collect Christmas gifts was amazing and a HUGE blessing, it really was no surprise. You see, The Rodriguez family (who have been faithful Project Mañana supporters), is one of the most generous and genuine families in the world. Rebecca's father, Lou, is a well-know emergency room physician who has dedicated his life to helping those in need. Erika, Rebecca's mother, has been involved with international missions for many years. And, Rebecca and her younger sister Sara have been raised to be generous and helpful to others.

With only six weeks before the Christmas party, Rebecca coordinated with her school to place a "wishing tree" in the school's lobby. She also composed a letter to all parents which read:

Dear Oakwood Parents,

The Oakwood Key Club is supporting an organization called Project Mañana International this holiday season. Project Mañana International is a non-profit humanitarian organization working in the Dominican Republic, dedicated to bettering the lives of impoverished children, their families and communities. The organization achieves their goals through charitable donations and child sponsorship, which unites children in need with individual sponsors who wish to address the children's immediate and basic needs.

Key Club has decided to provide each child supported by the organization with a gift for the holiday season. A Wishing Tree has been set up in the Upper School with tags that represent each child. Each tag has the gender and age group of a child that is in need. If you wish to make a contribution, simply take a tag from the tree and write your name on a list next to tree along with the age and gender of the child you are sponsoring. All gifts are due under the tree by November 22. There are 115 children in total that need gifts, so please help out! Also, feel free to help more than one child.

Rebecca Rodriguez, Key Club Editor

With just a few days before the Christmas party, Rebecca was able to collect enough gifts for every child!

On behalf of each and every child (and their parents), Project Mañana would like to extend its sincerest gratitude and huge THANKS to Rebecca, the Rodriguez family, and everyone who generously donated Christmas gifts!

Project Mañana Growth Update
From September 30, 2010 (when Project Mañana officially open its doors) to September 30, 2011, Project Mañana has seen an amazing 238% growth in its core programs.

Project Mañana, through the generous partnership of many sponsors across the United States, is now providing education, nutritious meals 5-days per week, and guidance to 115 children in the Dominican Republic! That's an astounding 238% growth in our first year of service!

The growth is a true testament to the hard work of the Dominican-based Project Mañana team and the many sponsors who have made it their mission to help provide a Better Tomorrow for the children of La Yaguita de Pastor, Dominican Republic!

There are MANY more children in the community (we estimate another 200-300 conservatively) who desperately need education and nutrition. As more and more sponsors join the Project Mañana team, we will expand the programs to as many children as we can.

Please Help. Sponsor A Child TODAY!

Connect With Project Mañana's Social Networks
Did you know that 95% of Project Mañana's supporters stay connected with our efforts online and through electronic communication?

Knowing that, Project Mañana is working hard to deliver information, updates, and news in several areas of social media, including: Facebook, Twitter, and now YouTube!

Please take a minute to visit each of these social sites and "join" or "subscribe" to ensure you receive the latest information and updates on how your partnership is helping to change the lives of children in La Yaguita de Pastor, Dominican Republic.

Do you have a social media idea? Please share it with us!


 Project Mañana Needs Your Help!
Project Mañana is a non-profit 501(c)3 humanitarian organization dedicated to bettering the lives of impoverished children, their families and communities through nutrition, education, and guidance.

We achieve our goals through charitable donations and child sponsorship, which unites children in need with individual sponsors who wish to address the children's immediate and basic needs. Sponsorship gives poor children the tools and opportunities necessary for success by providing benefits and supporting programs for each child - primarily in the areas of education and nutrition.

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