Knowing more about the Children's Haven International located near Reynosa has always been my desire. For years I had heard about the Haven, but I really did not know much about it. Many residents of local RV and Motor Home Parks regularly cross the border to volunteer their time and talent to Haven. Some park residents even sponsor a needy child to help them on their way. Sponsoring a child means you commit to donating $25 per month. I was especially impressed with how the sponsorship dollars are actually put into a pool that doesn't just help the one child you picked but will help all the children. Obviously, some children are more appealing than others; some are cute and lovable and apt to be chosen quickly by a sponsor. Others are not so cute and lovable but are shy and withdrawn. But all of them need our love and support.
Recently I was blessed to meet the director at a local park expo. Just in the brief time that I visited with director Betsy Chacon my desire to know even more increased. Now I just need to make time in my busy schedule to join one of their tours scheduled from October to April. Anyone who would like to know more about the work Betsy does and would like to visit the facility should call the Pharr office. Their number is (956) 787-7378.
For groups of eight or more, Children's Haven International will arrange a pickup in your park on a date of your choosing. Regular Wednesday lunch tours can be arranged as needed for individuals who would like to visit the facilities. The cost of lunch is $15 per person or $25 per couple. You will be served a regular Mexican lunch giving you time to have lunch with the children, visit the Elementary School classrooms and tour the 14-acre facility.
The facility itself is very close to the US border. If you cross into Mexico on the Anzalduas Bridge off of Bryan Rd. in Mission, you will be less than ten minutes from the campus. This way you can avoid the downtown traffic of Reynosa. Remember, the Haven will arrange the visits as needed and you don't even have to drive.
Children’s Haven International can accommodate eighty children. Currently they have fifty Mexican children finding refuge at the Haven. These children range in age from infants to young teens and come from broken, abusive or impoverished homes. Over 150 children attend school at the Haven. On your visit you will be able to witness firsthand the humanitarian work that is accomplished at Children's Haven International.
Children's Haven International was founded 47 years ago. The Haven exists because of volunteers who give of their time and their money to support this Christian endeavor. Betsy and her husband are the only paid employees. Support comes not only from volunteers who give of their time and their money, but also from proceeds garnered from sales at their Thrift Store located at 400 E. Minnesota Rd. in Pharr. You will find great bargains there on everything from household items to clothes and furniture. They are always looking for donations and more volunteers, especially in the summer. You can drop off your items to donate, or if they are large items, they can arrange to pick those up. The hours at the Thrift Store are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Haven needs your continued help.
If you would like to participate in the Spring Festival scheduled for March 21, give the office a call. There will be many carnival type booths and they need volunteers to help man those booths. Booth sponsorships are available at $20 per person or $35 per couple. All proceeds will go to support the elementary school. Of course, the most fun will actually be working in a booth and having a hot dog with the kids. Call the Haven office at (956) 787-7378 to volunteer, wear your tennis shoes and join the fun.