School in Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia November 2014
We have teamed up with a local organization in Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia named Semillero de Amor. Together we are helping build a school to have an after school program for underprivileged children. This location will help keep children off the streets and getting into trouble.
Our Charity Ball was able to contribute to help with the beginning of this big project. We want to thank all our supporters who attended the Charity Ball and made that night a success.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Escuela Juan Bosch - January 2014
Dominican Republic’s poverty was last measured at 40.90 in 2012, according to the World Bank. The national poverty rate is the percentage of the population living below the national poverty line. After reading information about the poverty in the Dominican Republic, LIVE.LOVE.DANCE teamed up with LatinMixx (MixxCares) and decided to travel there in January of 2014 to find a school that we could help.
When we got there, we visited a school named Escuela Basica Profesor Juan Bosch, with 250 attending students. LIVE.LOVE.DANCE was able to provide school supplies such as notebooks, books, pencils, crayons and more to the children. The look of joy on their faces was priceless and their gratitude was overwhelming. We were able to spend time with the children to inform them about LIVE.LOVE.DANCE and LatinMixx and reassure them that there are people out there that care about them and want to help in any way possible.
Living in poverty is not easy, but with the help of LIVE.LOVE.DANCE, these children were able to forget about the unfortunate aspects of their lives for a little while and enjoy the gifts that were made possible by our donors.
Bringing SANTA to Hightstown, NJ - December 2013
Christmas is a time for family, where young and old gather to enjoy food, gifts, and the company of loved ones.
In December 2013, LIVE.LOVE.DANCE. surprised kids from Hightstown, NJ by bringing Santa Claus to town. With the help of Dollar Latino, we organized an event for them to enjoy. Santa took pictures with every child, we provided pizza, played games and at the end of the day, we gave every child a gift for Christmas.
It was a heartwarming experience that we were able to share with 100 children from Hightstown NJ.
Candelaria Village outside of Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia September 2013
This was the first place we ever visited to help children, it was a trip down memory lane. Once againe it was an eye opening experience that increased our desire to help children everywhere. We saw a lot of the same children we saw the first time we were here. The families and children were happy to see us again.
We had the support from Sports Authority who donated sport balls to bring these children as well as frisbees and beach balls. We were grateful for this support and the faces of the children showed the gratitude when they received these nice gifts. We also brough the children school supplies, toys, food, and of course children's favorite, CANDY!
We spoke with a local organization and plan on teaming up to help build a building for after school activities such as singing, music class, drawing, amongs other activities. We shared the news with the families there and they were very happy with these news.
Thank you to every donor and supporter for making this possible.
Caribe Village in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - June 2013
One of our trips was to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, where I met a Taxi driver who guided us where to go to visit a village that was desperately in need. When I got out of the car and began to walk towards the children, I was exposed to the poor living conditions of the area. People’s houses were made of wooden sticks with dirt everywhere. I saw children without food or shoes, and even babies with no clothes. I decided to give them what we had brought with us: toys such as balls, bats, Barbie dolls, colored pencils, coloring books, crayons, books to read and lots of goodies. Their parents were incredibly grateful and surprised to receive donations from a random stranger passing by their town, making me realize how LIVE.LOVE.DANCE. has worked towards it mission day by day.
Village outside of Guanacaste - April 2013
One in four children from Costa Rica live below the poverty line. This estimate shows that 25% of the population is affected by this problem. Despite the relatively low rate of poverty in Costa Rica, children are the main victims.
Some children do not have sufficient access to clean water, a healthy diet, or even education. My visit to Costa Rica brought me to a beautiful country. Unfortunately, I also witnessed children walking alone in the streets, with no shirts or shoes and looked that they hadn’t eaten in days.
For there to be such a heartbreaking sight in such a gorgeous country was tear jerking for me.
A gentleman I met during the trip had led me to a small village that had about 150 children. I was able to give out toys and candy, bringing a smile to their faces. Later on in the trip, I came across a school; intrigued, I decided to pay it a visit. The principals and teachers were very welcoming, allowing me to help the school. I was able to provide school supplies for all of the children, hoping to help further their education.
The Children's Hospital Hostel in Bahamas - February 2013
February 2013, LIVE.LOVE.DANCE began the year by visiting a hostel hospital with about 50 children in the Bahamas. Most of them are special needs children and require a lot of attention and affection. There were about 10 kids with Down syndrome and others who were unable to walk.
It was refreshing to see that despite everything they were suffering from, these children were full of energy, hope and an incredible zest for life. I was able to spend some quality time with them, and thanks to our donors, LIVE.LOVE.DANCE was able to provide the children with pencils, crayons, books, toys, and much more to help make their days, and even lives, a little brighter.
Sometimes we complain about petty things in life without realizing that there are people out there living in conditions that we could not even imagine. Visits like this one continue to renew our sense of gratitude for all of the blessings in our lives.
Higuey, Dominican Republic November 2012
Poverty is a situation individuals find themselves in as a result of a lack of resources and basic necessities such as food, housing, access to clean drinking water and education. This leads to a deterioration of the quality of life of the individual and the community as a whole.
In third world countries like the Dominican Republic, this is sadly the case. There are many differences in the lives of the people who live in or near the major cities of the country. The community is more organized and better equipped to distribute resources to all those who need them. The people who live in the more remote villages and towns are spread apart and it is very difficult to provide the basic necessities let alone education.
Many children travel on foot for long distances just to be able to attend school.
Many of the rural schools lack supplies and the students come from homes of very little means and the parents of these children are unable to contribute to the schools. LIVE.LOVE.DANCE visited one of these small villages and as soon as we came to the school the 100 or so children there where alight with excitement. As we handed out school supplies, the children were jumping for joy and laughing. These students were grateful for what they received especially when we brought out the toys and candy. At the end of the day, LIVE.LOVE.DANCE was able to bring some much needed help to these wonderful children.
Hurrican Sandy October 2012 New Jersey
October 2012, one of the most memorable storms in recent U.S. history made landfall along the New Jersey coast, causing over 50 billion dollars in damage. I remember being on my computer during the storm and around 11:00pm all the lights went out and that was it. We had no idea what was going on out there or what to expect next.
The next day, I took my truck out and went around to see what was going on. It was shocking to see the destruction; it was like a scene from a movie. Seeing how bad things were around me, I couldn’t image what it was like in the towns near the beach.I was listening to the radio hearing stories of people with no food, no power, and nowhere to sleep; thousands of people lost everything. I decided to text every single person I knew so I could collect food, clothes, blankets, and anything they could donate so I could go and help other people.
To my surprise, people responded very quickly and I was lucky enough to have 7 truckloads full of medicine, clothes, sanitary supplies, blankets, food and more. LIVE.LOVE.DANCE. helped 5,000 people who lost everything, victims of the atrocity of nature.
We are very grateful for every single person who donated their time, clothes, and more. We couldn't have assisted so many without their help!
I Can Foundation in St. Maarten August 2012
While you may be sitting at your computer drinking a cup of coffee reading this there are children who don’t have enough to eat. This is the case in St. Martin. It is a cruel reality for some of the country’s littlest citizens. We all know that the most important growing and developing that we do is in the first three years of life. It is very important that children receive the proper nutrition in the earliest stages, because it will affect them for the rest of their lives. This is a sobering problem because although these children may be fed one day there is no way of knowing what will happen down the road for them.
Children who do not receive the proper nutrition will develop more slowly than their more fortunate peers. They are more susceptible to illness because of their compromised immune systems and without the proper medical attention, their chances of surviving an illness are very low.
On this trip LIVE.LOVE.DANCE brought food to these children of St. Martin along with a special toy to encourage good balanced eating habits and bring a little joy. The children are traditionally home schooled in this region but many lack the proper tools to learn. They may only have a few sheets of paper and one book to share among each other. LIVE.LOVE.DANCE also supplied these children with everything they may need to have a productive day of learning. Thanks to the donors we were able to give each child notebooks, writing utensils, rulers and more. With a full stomach and an abundance of supplies there is no telling what these children can accomplish despite their circumstances.
Hogar Alberque Para Ninos in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico July 2012
Some of the orphanages that LIVE.LOVE.DANCE visits need more help than others. In Mayaguez, Puerto Rico about 2 hours away from San Juan is an orphanage that was in real need. The community at large does not give them support that they need and they can only do the bare minimum for the children they care for.
In total they care for 100 children and do not have the space they need. There are four bedrooms two for the boys and two for the girls, they sleep in very close quarters and it is uncomfortable for them all. The director of the orphanage says that they really need to build another room so that the children have more space.
Unfortunately at times we don’t know the situation when we visit an orphanage so all that we were able to leave them were some school supplies, toys and candy. Nonetheless it made all the children’s day to have a treat and LIVE.LOVE.DANCE was able to do some of what we do best.
Ciudad Alegria in Cancun, Mexico June 2012
I found out about Ciudad Alegria in Mexico after hearing the heartbreaking story of Julieta. She’s a little girl all of eight years old, who was living in the streets. She did not want for much in life just some one to love her. The owner of the Ciudad Alegria orphanage found her on the streets and gave her a safe place to be.
Ciudad Alegria provides a home for 600 children. When I went to visit the orphanage, I met with Julieta and she could not be happier. She says she is blessed to have been found by one of the workers of Ciudad Alegria and before she was found had not slept in a bed for a year.
LIVE.LOVE.DANCE brought the children clothing and art supplies. With Julieta as inspiration we held an art class asking each of the children to draw how they were feeling. They opened up and started talking about how they want the things that “normal” people have, such as Love, respect and the fact that someone would miss them.
Our society does not understand what it is like to go without basic needs let alone basic human feelings. At LIVE.LOVE.DANCE we want every child to have the basics they need as well as happiness. Stories like those of Julieta are what give us fuel to keep doing what we can and drives us to do more.
Colina de Luz Orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico April 2012
Over fifty million Mexicans live in poverty , 47.4 % of the population. There are children who go daily without food, clothing and a suitable shelter. With circumstances like these LIVE.LOVE.DANCE had to return to Mexico to continue helping the children of this country.
After doing some research, I found an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico called Colina de Luz, a place full of magic, love and peace. Before traveling to Mexico, I contacted Jim Drake, the director of the orphanage. He informed me he was in charge of 500 children whom did not have a home to live in, a place to eat or a place to play. He was very impressed by our work and after speaking with him the desire and excitement to visit these children was inexplicable.
On January 20, 2012 I was able to visit Tijuana, Mexico and was honored to finally meet the children of this orphanage, Jim and his staff. LIVE.LOVE.DANCE was able to gift all them school supplies, books to read, notebooks, pencils, crayons and more. Best of all, we were able to surprise each child with two toys! Thank you to all our donors, together we were able to help Jim and most importantly all the children living in Colina de Luz.
Casa Hogar Para Ninos Esperanza in Bonfil, Mexico February 2012
Mexico is a city full of many beautiful landscapes, spectacular beaches and filled with many tourist sites. There is another side to Mexico one that is not shown TV or publicized to the world. In Mexico, poverty is the norm and crime is rampant. There are many places that you cannot visit simply because it is too dangerous.
Although the there is much crime to be found, there is also an abundance of good people who are trying to make the best of a bad situation. Through much research online and a lot of footwork, I discovered Casa Hogar Para Niños. In Mexico, I met a wonderful taxi driver, Roberto who knew where I could find the orphanage and took me there.
Estella is the supervisor of Casa Hogar Para Niños. She and her staff work tirelessly to provide for close to 400 children. They give these children a safe home and a sense of security. After meeting with her dedicated staff, we planned an art class for all of the children to participate in. With the resources of LIVE.LOVE.DANCE we were able to give the children lots of surprises such as toys, books, notebooks, pencils and crayons. By the end of the day many of the children had given me their masterpieces as presents in thanks for what we did for them. The joy on their faces was thanks enough to us here at LIVE.LOVE.DANCE.
Candelaria Village outside of Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia December 2011
Our first mission was to Colombia in December 2011. It was an eye opening experience that increased our desire to help children everywhere. For more than three months we studied and analyzed what would be the best way to help many children and to change their lives in a positive way.
When the day finally arrived when we visited this poor neighborhood, there were over 800 children waiting with anticipation. That is when LIVE.LOVE.DANCE. changed the lives of many children, showing them joy, love, and most importantly, hope that there are people out there that care about them and want to help.
Poverty is abundant in this part of Colombia and what I found was completely shocking. None of the children could attend school because parents couldn’t afford to buy school supplies. The children spent their days on the streets doing nothing. That’s when we came in to the picture.
LIVE.LOVE.DANCE. was able to provide the children with school supplies, books, notebooks, desks, chairs, pencils so they can start school. The looks on their faces was priceless. You could see how incredibly surprised and thankful they were. Now each of these children are able to attend school and are not in the streets.
My world will never be the same, and thanks to our donors, neither will theirs. (Founder Jonathan Lopez)
Halloween Party for Rahway Children at Patria Restaurant October 2011
Here at LIVE.LOVE.DANCE along with providing for the needs of underprivileged children we want them to enjoy the experiences in life that every child should have at least once. Halloween and trick or treating is one of those. Unfortunately, this is not possible for a lot of children because of the environment they live in, their safety becomes such a risk that enjoying the holiday becomes impossible.
We had the idea of providing the kids with a safe place to dress up and have some fun. LIVE.LOVE.DANCE teamed up with Patria restaurant in Rahway, NJ to have a Halloween party. At the party Jonathan Lopez DJ-ed for the kids to dance to, we had lot of games to play and we had lots of Pizza and candy to go around. In the end 400 children were able to enjoy a happy and safe Halloween and have a wonderful memory of their childhood.