New Elves!!

August 23, 2014

I know I don’t update this page nearly often enough but we’ve had some exciting developments this summer so I just had to write with us. We put out the call for some new elves early this summer, the requirements aren’t high, you just have to be unafraid to ask for money and work for peanut brittle. Lisa Lefever and Evelyn Charrier answered the call and they have been working their elf butts off ever since. We are so glad to have two more people that are as enthusiastic about the kids of Chelem as we are.

We are already counting down the days and wringing our hands over how we’re going to buy all those toys. We do this every year and we’ve never turned away a child. If dreams came true, we’d have toys for every child in the Yucatan, but we have to satisfy ourselves with providing the dreams we can. If you’re reading our page, we hope that you’ve decided to join us in this effort.

There is nothing like seeing those kids faces when Santa shows up at the square. It makes us elves believe in magic. Because it is magic. In a world that could use a little magic, we do what we can with help from all of you.
Let’s make some more!Las Dunas bingo2Lisa

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A Little Bit About Us

October 24, 2013
The Elves, Sherri, Gabi, and Ileana, at Bingo-Raffle Extravaganza!
While I was back in Chelem a few weeks ago, I was talking with a woman I had just met.  She let me know right away that she did not support the toy drive.  I said, “That’s fine.”  Then she went on to tell me some of the reasons that she doesn’t.  One of her reasons was that she felt that it brought shame to the fathers’ of the village because it implied that we did not think the fathers were… providing for their children.  When I explained that we did not give toys to just the children we think are needy but to every child in the village and that the toy drive is not a charity event, it is an event to show the local people our appreciation for accepting us into their community, she said she didn’t know this and that I should let people know this and write a letter letting them know what we do. So here it goes.  First off, this is a non-profit group and none of the elves receive any benefits, monetary or other. Second, we provide toys for every child in Chelem up to the age of 12.  Last year the mothers registered every child at the commisario’s office which allowed for a fair distribution of toys.  This will be done again this year.  Third, last year we had a surplus of toys because Costco donated 450 toys after we had already ordered ours.  The surplus toys were given to the village of Chumayel, which does not have an ex-pat community, the children with AIDS in Merida, and our local police force.  We still had toys left over because we couldn’t find anyone to take them on short notice and we will use those toys if we run out this year. This year we have agreed to include the area DIF disabled children in our giveaway and that adds 40+ kids to our list. Fifth, all of the resort stays are donated, we do not pay for these, the hotels do it to help us make the kids smile.  Please show your appreciation by considering staying at one of the hotels or resorts that have donated to a community that isn’t even in their local area.  Sixth, we know that there are other causes out there that are just as worthy and that some people think they are more worthy, that may be, but we still believe that a little magic and kindness is an important in a child’s life.  Thank you.
Mary, Santa aka Rick, and Star

Those Pesky Chelem Elves

October 3, 2012

Dos Amigas waiting for Santa Claus

I know. I know. It’s not even Halloween yet and they’re already playing Christmas carols in Walmart and those Pesky Chelem Elves are already starting to pester you for money.  Can’t they wait until after Thanksgiving?  Who’s in the mood for Christmas when it’s still 90F degrees out? Right?

We wish we could wait until after Thanksgiving, or even Halloween, we really do, but here’s the reason we can’t.  Toys!  They’re the reason we can’t wait.  In the past years the majority of our donations have come in the month of November and we’ve usually put our deadline for donations around the first of December.  The problem with that is that then we end up running around from store to store in Merida like crazy people, scooping up whatever we can find that fits into our price range, doesn’t require batteries (ever try to find 300 boy’s toys that don’t require batteries, it ain’t easy) or electronics of any kind.  Plus, we’re competing with all the other organizations that are having toy drives and we’re all looking for the same kind of toys.  There hasn’t been any bloodshed.  Yet.

Last year there were some questions regarding our purchase of some toys that required batteries.  The answer is that was all that was left on the shelves, folks.

It’s brutal!  Just ask anyone that has had the joy of going on one of these shopping excursions with us.  We ain’t all whistling “Joy To The World” when it’s over.  Believe me.

So this year we thought we’d nip that in the bud and Jim Sullivan, the husband of our elf, Sherri, who had worked for Walmart in the U.S. before retirement volunteered to meet with the manager of Walmart to talk toys.  We had talked with the elves over in Chuburna and we had all agreed to go together and order ahead of time the same toys, all the boys would get the same toy, all the girls would get the same toy and all the little kids would get the same toy.  This would ensure that every kid got an equal gift. Even though we had always tried to make them equal, it was impossible.  So this would mean a lot less headache for us and a lot less heartache for the kids and maybe we’d be able to get a big discount if we ordered such a large number.  Plus we wouldn’t have to worry about the stores running out of toys before we got there.

Perfect, right?

Well, not quite.  We started this process way back in April or May and guess what? We still haven’t ordered any toys.  We can’t seem to get the Walmart manager to get in the Christmas mood either.

But we’re trying and if he calls and says, “Let’s place an order”, we want to have the money.”

So that’s why we keep bugging you.  It’s our job.

As always, we are open for suggestions, especially if you can think of a way to ship toys down here that won’t cost us an arm and a leg and a few other appendages. Just drop us a line at chelem christmas dreams @gmail.com.

BTW we’re always looking for new recruits.

Manana!

Bienvenidos Amigos!

September 12, 2012

September 11, 2012

Welcome to the new Chelem Dreams Toy Drive Blog.  Our old website was victim to an oversight on our part to renew our domain name so here we are with a fresh new start!  We are really excited because we are going to keep this site as a blog and that will enable us to keep all of you better informed of what we are up to on a regular basis.  So let’s get started.

Well, it’s September again and that means the elves are back from their hiatus’s up NOB and have completed their summer tans and now it’s time to get back to work.  Work! Work! Work!  After all, Christmas will be here before we know it.

None of us won the lottery this summer so that means we are depending on you guys to help us meet our fundraising goals, you’ve never let us down and this year we think we’re going to make it more worthwhile than ever before.  We’ve got some great plans and we plan on having lots of fun while we’re hard at it this fall.

To start the moneyball rolling, we’re having not just one, but two raffles with two exciting prizes!

The first raffle is for a 4 night all inclusive stay for 2 at the beautiful Hotel Riu Lupita  in Playa Del Carmen.  The drawing will be held on October 31, 2012 and the voucher will be valid for a year.  Some restrictions will apply but we’ll let you know all about that when you win.

Our second raffle is a 50/50 raffle and it’s as simple as it sounds, the winner gets half of the money raised and the kids get the other half.  Sweet!  The drawing for this raffle will be in November at the ? Annual Chili Cook-Off.  What number is this, Katie Gildersleeve?  Stay tuned right here to watch the pot of money grow and remember, you can’t win if you don’t play.

As usual, for each 25 pesos, or $2.50 US you donate, we’ll throw a ticket in the cage for you.  If you donate 100 pesos or $10.00 US, we’ll throw in 5 tickets.  If you can’t find one of us elves, or if you’re stuck NOB you can always go to our Donation Page here and donate through Paypal,  just let us know what barrel you want us to throw your tickets in, the Hotel Riu Lupita raffle or the 50/50 raffle.  If you don’t have a Paypal account, don’t worry, just hit the button and the people over at Paypal will tell you how to donate using your credit card or an e-check.

If you want to, and we hope you do, you can click on the follow button or you can subscribe to this site and you’ll get updates in your email anytime we post.  After all, we don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun.

We look forward to any comments and suggestions you have about our new blog.