The Tres Islas Orphanage Fund is solely dedicated to helping orphaned children and children in orphanages in Old Mexico. It is a non-profit, charitable organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service in the United States.
In return for each and every donation, each fall (after school purchases) every donor would receive a copy of each store receipt – signed by the director of the orphanage or the principal care giver who is at the orphanage at the time of delivery – to verify their donations were spent exactly as they wanted to help the needy children in orphanages.
In addition, the name, address and telephone number of the orphanage would be provided to each donor as well as a list of the children in each orphanage and donors would always be welcome to visit the orphanage and participate in the children’s lives.
Also included in each annual report is the name and location of the banking institution, how much money is in the account and what interest accrued on the money earned is also provided to the donors.
The Fund has an open-door policy with all contributors. And, it is believed that because of this, that donors will genuinely feel good about making contributions to the Fund because of the way the Fund is conducted: with 100 percent of every donation going toward orphaned children in Old Mexico, because of the verification for each donation and lastly, because of the detailed accounting provided to donors.
In October 2007, the Fund reached a milestone. First, the Fund reached its 20th year anniversary helping not just one – but four Mazatlan, Mexico orphanages full time! To date, over $264,500.00 U.S. dollars has been spent on helping children in orphanages in Old Mexico by the purchase of nourishing food for them, each and every week, their school supplies, shoes, uniforms and backpacks and necessary orphanage upgrades to ensure the children live in a safe, sanitary and healthy environment.
There are approximately 100 children (total) in the four orphanages.
The orphanages the Fund serves are: 1. Orfanatorio Mazatlan 2. Salvation Army Children’s Home 3. Father Tovar’s Home for Boys. . .Hogar San Pablo 4. Ciudad de los Ninos
Today the Fund purchases $150.00 U.S. dollars, or $600.00 per week, to feed the children in each of the four orphanages, to feed the children in the four orphanages.
A typical week’s worth of food includes: fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, low-fat, high-protein meat – fish, chicken, pork and beef, whole-grain bread, pancake mix, pasta, cereal and eggs.
Additionally, the Fund buys the children their school supplies, school shoes and school uniforms as well as pays for prescribed medicines.
The Fund also sponsors children to attend English classes and trade-school classes in the areas of their interest so that when the children leave the orphanages, they leave with good skills so they may take care of themselves and be productive members of society.
Donors gather in Mazatlan twice each year, each spring and December, to participate in the children’s lives and to make the necessary upgrades.
Working together (alongside the children who love to help!), getting to know the other donors and improving the children’s living conditions, is a wonderful experience that forever changes each person who participates.
Many people ask about buying items in the U.S. and Canada and either taking them down themselves or shipping them down.
The reason it is best to buy items for the orphanages in Mexico is because:
1. In order for anything to be legitimately claimed as a tax-deductible donation for the contributor, the money must be deposited into the Tres Islas banking account that is recognized by the IRS as a not-for-profit, charitable organization. Then, the item(s) can be purchased with that money and a copy of the receipt for the item(s), always signed by the orphanage director for verification, is sent to the contributor.
2. It is extremely difficult to take supplies for between 25 and 30 children in a car or on a plane.
3. Anything taken to or mailed to Mexico is subject to tariffs. Even for an orphanage. And, the cost of tariff to bring anything in or mail it in costs as much, if not more than purchasing the item in Mazatlan would cost.
4. Mazatlan offers for sale almost everything that is for sale in the U.S. or Canada, and certainly what the children will need.
Often, because the purchase is for an orphanage, it is possible to negotiate a discount.
5. Buying locally, even in a foreign country, creates friends.
Last, and surely most important, buying what the orphanage needs in Mexico helps shopkeepers who, themselves, have families and children who are also very much in need.