This is an extraordinary non-profit that is changing both lives and communities. I had the privilege of seeing it in action this past February, when we visited four of its school sites and witnessed first-hand the impact Mil Milagros is having on improving the nutrition and hygiene of impoverished children in rural Guatemalan communities. What Mil Milagros and its leaders understand so well is that long-term change can only be effectuated by involving parents, grandparents and the whole community in efforts to improve the quality of life for children. The program takes great care to engage mothers and caregivers not only as participants in health programs, but also as potential leaders of wellness efforts in their own homes and communities. As an Executive Director of a non-profit in Washington, DC, I am very familiar with the best practices that allow a lean organization to have a major impact in its field--and Mil Milagros exemplifies everything that good non-profits should be doing. Since spending time with Mil Milagros Executive Director Margaret Blood and her staff in Guatemala, I have become an active supporter as well as an avid fan of the remarkable work they are doing.
I have just gotten back from my 4th trip to see the programs. Everything that is done at the schools is amazing it not only benefits the children at the schools but beyond. It touches the lives of everyone in the village in which the schools are located. Mil Milagros not only changes the lives of the kids when they are at school and in the programs but long after they graduate.
Our family has been involved with Mil Milagros for 3 years, as donors and as visitors to Guatemala. The miracle of this tiny but mighty organization is the way they they work directly with each village. They teach families about health, they involve families with the school lunch programs, and they help people help themselves.
Ultimately, this is how you truly change lives. Mil Milagros should stand as an example to all non-profits in terms of helping to effect permanent change in a poverty-stricken country. They have been so successful that they have a long waiting list of schools and communities in need of their help.
Here in the US, it's easy to forget how fortunate we are. Meeting Margaret, and learning about this incredible organization has been a life-changing experience for me. She is truly an inspiration to every person who wants to make a difference in the world.
My daughter and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Solola with Mil Milagros last week! It was a life changing experience which has renewed my faith in the work of non profit organizations. The passion and dedication of the founder, Margaret Blood, along with her small and talented staff in Guatemala are beyond compare. Training mothers and grandmothers to be leaders in their communities, 700 to date, positively impacts the long term mission to eliminate childhood malnutrition and improve the health and education of the children in rural areas where malnutrition is estimated to be 70%. Through partnership with rural schools and the efforts of the mother/grandmother volunteers, Mil Milagros is able to provide 1300 nutritious meals every day!! What an accomplishment! And many more schools are on the waiting list! Our family is committed to providing a monthly gift to Mil Milagros to support the life sustaining work that is done on behalf of these beautiful children. Muchas gracias Mil Milagros!
Life changing and awe inspiring! It was our PLEASURE and HONOR to spend time in Guatemala with Margaret, Carolyn and Lauren weeks ago. We saw first hand how their devotion, love and never ending support gives children the opportunity to flourish, and 'just be a kid' with food and the simple task of brushing their teeth. We made the journey to Guatemala with our son, who was adopted from Guatemala 15.5 years ago, and this was our first trip back - he is now 16. We played with the kids, fed them lunch and were treated like royalty when we visited the schools. The folks that should be treated like royalty are the Mil Milagros staff - they are the angels and heroes of this organization. Our lives have been changed forever, and we look forward to going to Guatemala again, and will continue to support Mil Milagros in any way that we can. Thank you for an incredible few days, and life time memories. Mil Milagros rocks!!!!!
The Manis Goldberg Family
Miracles. We spent a few days last week visiting a few of the communities that are being helped by Mil Milagros. We came home with our hearts filled with love and gratitude, and with a renewed faith in humanity. (no small feat in this election-year in the US)
We have been donors to Mil Milagros for the past two years, and we had donated money to help build a kitchen in one of the schools so that the children could have one hot meal a day. We visited that school, and saw the kitchen in use, cooking healthy vegetables for over 200 children on a wood-burning brick stove. The children lined up, chatting and smiling, and ever-so-happy to be in line for a hot meal. It was so very different from any school lunch line I have ever seen.
We also have a personal connection to Guatemala, as our 2 teens were adopted from Guatemala as infants. Seeing the work that Mil Milagros does every day, meeting the children and families they help, and seeing the dire needs of these communities was truly life-changing. We have so much we can give. They have so little, and are so grateful for everything they're given.
We are determined to find ways to help Mil Milagros continue to grow and give hope to these wonderful children and their families.
Our family, which includes a child adopted from Guatemala, has been working with, supporting, and serving on the board of Mil Milagros for years. We are consistently impressed, delighted, and moved by the extraordinary success of the "teach and feed" approach developed and applied by Mil Milagros in villages around Lake Atitlan. Their operation is lean, and wastes not a penny of donors dollars on unnecessary expenses. All funds go directly into supporting the important work of preventing malnutrition while educating children in ways that enable them to improve their future. Even the way Mil Milagros structures its fund-raisers is indicative of their approach; rather than offering donated "weekends in the islands" or other items for donors to bid on, their auctions offer up needed services (kitchen construction, furnishing kitchens with utensils,building sanitary facilities, etc) to bidders. There is no way to overstate the dedication, professionalism, and accomplishments of the Mil Milagros team.
I have supported many non profits over the years, but rarely one where every dollar has had so much impact on so many. With a very low overhead, Mil Milagros has allowed young children an opportunity to develop intellectually and physically as well. THey have eliminated absenteeism at school by providing nutritional lunches to children who were badly undernourished and whose growth had been stunted by extreme poverty. Many of these children of Mayan families who've been discriminated against for centuries will now reach their full potential.
In addition all of the children have been introduced to pure drinking water and the habits of hygiene e.g. they have been provided with toothbrushes for the first time and many have been seen by volunteer doctors and dentists. Over 500 mothers of the children have been taught to shop for healthy food and how to prepare it.
Mil Milagros has also been responsible for engaging the interest of a Dutch nonprofit who built houses for 25 families whose village had been destroyed by a mudslide several years ago . In addition they built a new school a well.
The lives of thousands of children over the last 5 years have benefitted from Margaret Blood and the organization, Mil Milagros, A Thousand Miracles. And all for the unbelievable sum of 50cents a day.
A donor's dream
I have been both a donor and volunteer with Mil Milagros. I have helped with the library project, reading tests, and health/hygiene activities such as weighing and measuring children. As a Guatemalan, I wish resources, training, and support such as that provided by Mil Milagros had been available for my generation because it makes such a huge impact on the lives of these children and their families. Lives are being transformed by the work of this organization!
Mil Milagros is doing critical work to support the children and families in Guatemala. It has been amazing to see the organization strategically grow and have greater impact without losing its laser focus on results. I have been inspired to hear about all the programs and services that are making a difference - especially the work with the moms. I am proud to support Mil Milagros.