Students and alumni hope to benefit orphans in Nicaragua.

Maria Polanco

Planning and fundraising for the second December of Dreams, shifted into high gear recently. With the goal of touching the lives of 3,000 impoverished Nicaraguan children, a hardworking group of alumni and students are enlisting sponsors, fine-tuning logistics, and coordinating activities to secure funds and items for distribution. Likely to draw ten to twelve participants, December of Dreams II will run from December 26, 2006 through January 4, 2006.

Organizers of December of Dreams I hoped to touch 1,350 lives through the distribution of school supplies, toys, and shoes. According to project figures, the group managed to reach 1,500. With last year’s experience as a foundation, this year’s leaders are confident they can double that number.

“We plan to distribute school supplies, books, and toys at schools and orphanages in Managua, Granada, Nandaime, and Masaya,” said Maria Polanco, who will graduate in December, 2006, with a major in international business. “We have identified a number of neighborhoods to visit, many with a lot of street children whom we hope to help.”

Fundraising reflects energy, ingenuity, and donor generosity.

December of Dreams I 2005-2006

TACA Airlines donated a free airline ticket for a raffle; a series of toy drives have already taken place at various sites in Miami and will continue each Saturday; students have spread the word at festivals, including the Central American Independence festival and the Nicaraguan Festival and Parade, for December of Dreams II for Kids; and the organizers have asked professors to encourage their students to donate toys and school supplies by offering extra credit for such contributions.

In addition, a performance showcasing dancers and aspiring opera singer Jean Quinn—herself a veteran of December of Dreams I—is tentatively scheduled for November 18, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. with details still in development.

“I learned about the first December of Dreams at a youth fair in 2005 and immediately wanted to go,” said Quinn, who was born in Nicaragua and had always wanted to do something philanthropic for her native country. “It’s very hard to do something on your own, so I jumped at this opportunity.”

Throughout December of Dreams I, the children at each site were so excited that Quinn would sing to calm them down.

“I sang songs that little kids like and the national anthem,” she said. “Others in the group helped with gestures in songs like ‘The Hokey Pokey.’”

In addition to TACA Airlines, Masatepecity, Printing 2000 Corp, Estrella de Nicaragua, Horacio Ruiz Pavon, Elizabeth Flowers, Exponica, and Radio1450 AM are among the supporters to date.

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