Amparo is a single mother of eight children. When we first met Amparo in 2010 we learned that she had been a single mother to her children since her husband left her three years prior. She felt alone, hopeless, and was living in a 1-room shack. One of her neighbors in the community told her about 1MISSION. She began volunteering in the kitchen and started to build relationships with the ladies she was serving with. Although she dreamed about having a home for her and her children, it did not seem possible because she did not have legal ownership of the land she was living on and could not afford to buy it.
Over the next year, Amparo continued to consistently serve in her community. Her friends began encouraging her to apply for a piece of land that became available across the street from her current house, but there were obstacles, beginning with the $300 deposit needed to secure the land. Unable to find steady employment and making just barely enough to feed her children, she felt as if she came to another dead end.
However, Amparo’s story doesn’t end there. Maricelal, a local community member who met Amparo through volunteering at 1MISSION heard of her situation and wanted to help. Although she was a mother of five children herself and had a husband without steady work they still they gave $40 to Amparo, the equivalent of 2 weeks income. Maricela believed that others were there for her when she was in need, and now she had the opportunity to help when someone else was in need.
Over the course of four days, more and more community members gave to Amparo and she was able to pay her down payment and a few days later with the help of 1MISSION volunteers and her neighbors, a home was built for her and her family.
Since that day, there has been a difference in Amparo. She is hopeful and confident. More than three years after she received her home, Amparo continues to serve and give back to the community. ‘Amparito’, as she is known in the community, is known for her spirit of service and love for others. She is a staple in the 1MISSION kitchen, where it all started for her.
She has a thriving garden in her yard with sustainable food for her and her family. In addition she was a student in sewing classes operated by 1MISSION, and she caught on very quickly. Amparo now uses her talent to teach others this important skill, and sells her own quilts and other creations for income for her family.