The orphanage and the Honda
Alum Doris Berry asks for advice on how to entice Honda to somehow embrace the idea of helping an orhanage in Guatemala ...
My Jay Day deed: I called Rubin Postaer to try to get Honda to help this orphanage out. (I'll explain.) The nice fellow I spoke to (Pen Pendleton, another C/D Alum) very kindly advised that contact Honda's PR person directly, and I will. But... today as I read through the recent postings I see that many are in philanthropic pursuit. Maybe if you find this interesting, you can either advise me or post it so others can advise me how to proceed. I.e.: What do I do now?
[Click on "Continue reading ..." to see the rest of Doris' story]
Here we go: I have this great good friend, a drop-dead gorgeous 32 year-old single surfer-girl-woman with chutzpah and an affinity for adventure. We met on my last quest and became really good friends, age difference notwithstanding. (I can still dance a mean Pony...)
My friend was driving to Argentina last year from Vancouver, BC. At a campsite on her ramblings before she hit Argentina, some folks (she described them as aging hippies) told her about the orphanage and asked if she wanted to come along and help them out. She agreed to go for a week or so and ended up staying several months. (Never got to Argentina this trip.)
Now, I don't think we have them here, but that orphanage is privately owned and operated. It was started many years by a private Guatemalan citizen as a "Nutrition Center" to keep the local kids fed during the rainy season when the farmers had no yield. (He also bought as much rain forest as he could afford over the years, bit by bit, to keep it from developers.) So the little nutritional center grew and grew, becoming a real orphanage funded mostly by donations from an aging 7th Day Adventist community. They now have second generation kids coming in. They grow their own food, teach their school, keep the kids fed and clean, construct their own buildings -- I can send you my friend's website with photos & story if you want all those details.
So, a couple of years ago that man was suddenly killed by an automobile. His daughter, a very young woman, took over the orphanage in her father's honor but is overwhelmed. The Adventists are dying out and donations have pretty much dried up. The orphanage needs money and they need it now. The daughter, although good-hearted, is doing as well as she can but is at her wit's end.
Why did I mention Honda? My friend, Terri, drove her ancient 1990-ish early 4-wheel drive Honda on that trip and back again. (She's just returned to make a little more money and then she'll go back. Sez Terri: "I can't adjust to civilization". She works on a boat and spends her time at sea, fer cryin out loud. What civilization?) That little Honda made it without any problem at all - and those roads can be fearsome if they exist at all.
She camped on her way down and one time she met a German couple in a HUGE brand new Range Rover. They told her they'd bought it for the trip (details of which they had planned for well over a year) then added over $10,000 outfitting it, getting it ready for the great South American adventure. They showed her all the improvements, bickered with each other over which one was whose idea, which one made the trip safer, more convenient, told her their entire planning process - you get the idea.
They asked Terri how she came to be there, and she said "I packed my trusty Honda that I bought last year for $1200 and left."
So, being an ad hag, when I heard that and saw the pictures, I thought, wouldn't Honda be interested in that story? Wouldn't Rubin Postaer? Or one of the agencies they use? Not as an advertising concept, but wouldn't they at least want to contribute something?
So there you have it. I don't know what to do with it - I'm heading down to visit in October (maybe sooner if the news of the world keeps pissing me off) and will be staying awhile.
I apologize for the length of this email, any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.