DOUG & SUSAN'S KIDS FOUNDATION
We started DSKF 20 years ago in order to help children that are less fortunate globally. The funds help provide medical care, education, food and shelter for children in Haiti, Colombia, Honduras, the Philippines and here in Mississippi. Donations are not run through any agency, and we cover all administrative costs. Charities we have established include: Sister Clara’s Clinic, The Atuto Project, Tom Sawyer House, and charities supported locally in Mississippi under Doug and Susan’s Kids Foundation. Any amount given goes 100% to the kids. Thanks and please forward this to anyone you know that might want to help.
Doug and Susan’s Kids Foundation
3844 West Northside Drive
Jackson, MS 39209
HAITI | SISTER CLARA'S CLINIC
When our Haitian manufacturer built the medical center for Sister Clara, he did not know what an impact it would have on the local community in Port-au-Prince. Sister Clara runs the clinic with the efficiency of a staff sergeant and squeezes every dollar. The clinic is free for those who cannot pay and accepts whatever donations from those that can. There are dental services as well as medical, and Wednesday is a special day for children.
Kalalou is proud to help out with the clinic by donating all proceeds from the sale of Sister Clara's cross to the clinic. We send the proceeds directly to Sister Clara, not through a government agency or any charitable organization. Every penny goes to her. It is because of the contributed support of our customers that this project is a success. Sister Clara told us that the money buys medical supplies and helps pay for two doctors. What a good feeling, and thanks to all our loyal customers!
HONDURAS | THE ATUTO PROJECT
This project was set up to help children in the tiny village where our products are made. Atuto is Spanish for "piggy back". In the beginning, four organized kitchens were set up in the homes of local ladies who saw to the care and feeding of these children. Many of the children do not have parents, did not eat regularly, and did not go to school.
Today the kids are happy, healthy, and attending school regularly. With the help of Kalalou, a new daycare and after school center was built. All donations go directly to the Atuto Project that cares for these children every day. On a recent trip, we visited the children in the center. Our Honduran manufacturer told us the amazement in their eyes when school uniforms were given out along with paper and pencils. Suddenly we realized that it only takes a little to change life so much.
Kalalou has added a charitable project to the Doug and Susan's Kids Foundation. This project helps street kids who are homeless and endangered. These children are rescued from the streets, given a home, food, and education; but most importantly, they receive love and attention. Through the sale of the oyster cross made in the Philippines, Kalalou hopes to give many of these children a better life. For more information you can go to www.ellipsisinternational.org. As always, the total amount of the funds raised for all of our projects goes straight to the project. No money is taken out for administrative costs or run through a third party... every dollar raised goes straight to the project.
COLOMBIA | TOM SAWYER HOUSE
Many children have touched our hearts during our travels, and there are children in other countries that play a big part in Kalalou's giving back policy. One trip to Colombia was the closest we had ever come to bringing a child home with us, but fate had a different idea. He was a nine year old boy selling fossils on the side of the road. His light hair, green eyes, and freckles were an anomaly in Colombia; and he wore a floppy hat that put the finishing touch on our nickname for him... Tom Sawyer.
THAT DAY AN OMEN HOVERED IN THE AIR WAITING FOR US TO RECOGNIZE IT AND MAKE IT REALITY. IT DIDN'T TURN OUT EXACTLY LIKE WE THOUGHT, BUT OMENS OFTEN HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDAS.
Our thoughts kept going back to Tom Sawyer; and after receiving a phone call from our agent's wife who had a vision about the little boy that captured our hearts, we decided to research his situation.
We learned that Tom Sawyer, whose real name is Adres Filipe, was not an orphan and was certainly not alone with seven brothers and sisters, a grandfather, and most importantly a mother who loved him. All ten lived in a two room mud floor house with no plumbing. It was located in a tiny village where jobs were all but non-existent. There was no money for even the barest of necessities, and the children did not go to school because of a $10 fee. Their clothes were tattered and their diet consisted mainly of potatoes. The omen was beginning to reveal its purpose.
Further investigation proved the mother was an expert crocheter. The job was immediately given to her to make as many purses as she could, and Kalalou would buy all of her production. By purchasing the bags, her customers are not only supporting a tiny business, but giving a mother of eight a sense of self worth and the means to support her family. The project now includes the sister-in-law and other needy mothers.
Today the kids are in school, there are new clothes for all and plenty of nutritious food. And, 2005 saw the completion of a brand new three bedroom house with running water (a first for them) constructed near the old mud house. Tom Sawyer did not come home with us, so we brought the home to Tom Sawyer. Life works in strange ways. You don't always get what you what... sometimes you get even more.
Update: With the help of the Doug and Susan’s Kids Foundation, Andres Filipé (Tom Sawyer) graduated university and is working for a logistics company in Bogotá.