Happy New Year


Happy 2009.

Here is a great story to start the year.

Our Christmas – New Year rose program resulted in the sale of 10,850 roses that resulted in $4,300 of donations for Land of the Sun Foundation.

Earlier promotions in the year added 5,050 more roses sold and $2,020 to LOTS.

Almost 16,000 roses were sold in all which raised $6,500 to help Ecuador’s poor.

You can see how much help is needed from the note below by our friend, Patricia McCormick, who visited a village and distributed  gift packages (I believe from another charity) to the poor.  What she shared explains how important such gifts are.  Here is Patricia with the kids and what she wrote:

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Season’s Greetings!  My first Christmas in Ecuador was lovely.  I really want to share pictures of  children here – I was so fortunate to be able to help poor children get bags of animal crackers and caramellos.  I was taken away up in the country by local Ecuadorian friends – I took so many wonderful pictures, but I will share just a few.  These beautiful little ones are so well behaved — no pushing, so polite, with only gratitude when a bag was given to them.  Notice the one little girl who had a gunny sack for a skirt and was barefoot.

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Many were without shoes.

happy-new-year Notice, too, some of the children are carrying a younger sibling on their backs. People came out of the hills and notice that a donkey, cows and sheep and, of course, many dogs shared the road with us.  For most of them, I’m sure, the bag of cookies and candy was the only gift they received.  It is lovely to be in a place where the holiday is based on the birth of baby Jesus and the children having goodies, rather than the materialism that we have become so accustomed to.  I was also invited by my Ecuadorian friends to participate in their celebration just before Christmas where they dressed up as Joseph, Mary, the Wise Men, lots of angels, all parading down the street to the church.  There were torch bearers, a band, and a man ran in front, putting an empty beer bottle in the street, inserting a form of fireworks, lighting it and sending it skyward with a great flourish of lights, noise and smoke – he did this all the way to the church!  Of course, I was the only gringo, and just loving all the celebration, sights and sounds!  Love, light, blessings to you, Patricia.

Yet the kids in Ecuador were not the only ones who gained from these roses.

Here is what a few of our readers who received the roses shared:

“Merri and Gary,  Merry Christmas, I am in tears here looking at my wife’s Ecuadorian Roses. I thank you for presenting this opportunity to help those of LOTS and also bring me to bring these roses to my wife. We are close to destitute these days from circumstances and we will have a very spartan Christmas, however these well received roses have brought a peaceful beauty and scents of love into our house. I thank the Ecuadorians for their care with these roses and am grateful to you for facilitating a major portion of my purchase to help those there in need more  than me.  Again thank you Gary & Merri, for all the good you do. May the wind be always at your back and may the Lord hold you in the hollow of his hand. Merry Christmas, with love and appreciation.

Another said:

Hi Gary:  The roses arrived this morning and they are stunning!  I wasn’t offered a color choice but knew whatever the color, they would be beautiful. Boy, was I right!  When I opened the box, I found half to be red and half a multi-salmon/gold/pink color which is exactly what I would have chosen myself.  They were so beautiful I just had to share them with a couple of my friends.  They were, of course, elated.  I was surprised that, in addition to their beauty, they have a wonderful fragrance, unlike the roses that come from the florists. We look forward to seeing you soon.  Thanks.

And:

Gary & Merri:  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the Rose deal you arranged. My wife was diagnosed with cancer and the roses were a complete delight for my wife. They are so beautiful and she continues to enjoy them and they lift her spirits. I don’t believe I could have done anything else that she would have enjoyed more. Thanks Again.

Words cannot express the gratitude that Merri and I feel for all of you…our readers and for those who participated by bringing these wonderful roses and all this joy to so many lives.

Until next message, may your new year be truly rosy!

Gary

We’ll be in Ecuador shortly and will report in what good things LOTs does with the funds raised from the rose sales.

You can continue to order fresh Ecuador roses here


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