Bringing hope to the children of Esperanzas

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:50

    SPARTA-While the presidents of the eight most industrialized nations in the world were meeting last week to find ways to help the poor, Nicolas Gomez of Sparta was already mobilizing to do his part. Nicolas, who in September will begin the sixth grade at the Sparta Middle School, has started a one-man, one-young man, campaign to help 300 children in a small Ecuadorian village appropriately named Esperanzas - Hopes. Nicolas's goal is to collect school supplies, mostly notebooks and pencils, for the local school where his grandfather is the principal. To this effect, Nicolas has sent letters to area business, contacted his friends, visited his neighbors and posted flyers in local shops and restaurants seeking donations from Sparta residents. "I feel sorry for the kids in that school. They don't have it like we do here. They don't have desks in their classrooms, hardly have any pencils," said Nicolas. "I think that if I can get everyone in Sparta to help, then we can supply the whole school for a long time." Both of Nicolas's parents are from Ecuador, so his personal crusade is an extension of the family's ongoing efforts to help people in Ecuador. "Every year we always send something as a family. I lived there and I know how poor some of the children are," said Lelia Gomez, Nicolas's mother. "The idea of making (the collection) bigger was his and he is taking it very seriously." According to Nicolas, donations are already trickling in. But that's only part of project. He's now thinking on how to deliver the donations to the children of Esperanzas. Some of the donations will go back with Nicolas's grandfather, who is coming for a visit next month. But depending on the success of the collection drive, Nicolas knows he will need more help. To prepare for such eventuality, he is already planning to contact airlines to see if he can secure a lower rate for the shipment. "We have received some responses. We have some donations, including three used computers," said Nicolas. "I would like everyone to know that this school is very poor and really needs your help. Anything you could give to them would be very helpful."