• Naomi Graham

OUR FIRST PROJECT!

Updated: Jan 20

We've been so excited to announce this. Read the rest of this blog post to see what we IMG Give will be contributing to and why.


Image: some of the children that will be positively impacted by IMG Give's first project. Photograph by Naomi Graham

Introduction

First off, if you're reading this, thank you for your interest in IMG Give. We couldn't be more excited to start making an impact, and we hope you will consider being a part of it. After a few months of hard work and planning, we launched IMG Give as quickly as we could in order to support an amazing organization called Guimedic with a project they are doing this Christmas.


Guimedic is an organization of doctors and medical students based in Guadalajara Mexico. They bring care to communities in need and are currently in 6 different states (of 32) in Mexico and support 32 distinct communities. For almost 10 years they have been reaching some of the most remote areas of Mexico. When I heard that they would be doing a project in one of their communities for Christmas, I knew I had to share it here with IMG Give in order to spread the word and help my family members and friends get involved.


***You can learn more about Guimedic by checking out Guimedic Humanitarian Medical Association on Facebook***


The "What"


Guimedic's Christmas Event


Guimedic is working to provide 120 children in an indigenous community they support with a special Christmas experience. Christmas gifts will be placed inside a backpack for each child along with some school supplies. In previous years, Guimedic has found that many children prefer to give up their Christmas gift for school supplies, so this year they want to provide both. To reach a little further, they are also going to provide basic supplies for every family (like food, vitamins, hygeinic supplies, face masks), and cake to celebrate. You can read the flyer below to see what will be included.


Photograph by Guimedic Humanitarian Medical Association

The "Why"

Going the Extra Mile


Here at IMG Give, one of our goals is to allow all of our participants to be able to make an impact from afar. We find this so important, especially during these times when many of us are confined to our homes. For that reason, we want to provide you with as much information as we can so you feel involved no matter where you are. Why is it important that you are involved in this Christmas Project? What impact will be made when these children receive these gifts and their families get supplies? I will not speak directly for Guimedic on this matter, but I will tell a story from personal experience with a child from this specific community that exemplifies why I am choosing to take part in this.


While participating in a medical brigade with Guimedic, I met a young 12 year old girl from the same community the Christmas event will take place in. We were friends right away. I returned for two different brigades in this same community, and each time we played, talked, and she taught me some of her native language (Huichol) while I taught her English. The last time I saw her, anticipating Christmas time, I gave her a piece of paper and asked her to write down what she wanted for Christmas. As she was writing, she looked up at me and said "earrings", "a necklace", and a few more items. She finished writing and it was time for us to leave and drive back to the city. I tucked the piece of paper away without looking at it. To my surprise, just minutes before starting to write this blog post, I got out that same piece of paper and saw that what she wrote was not "earrings" or "a necklace", but something completely different.



Photograph by Naomi Graham

If you speak some Spanish, you know by now that this list includes shoes, a blanket, a jacket, shirt, and a toothbrush. Basic supplies for covering your feet, staying warm, and keeping your teeth clean. This young girl was not the only one asking for these things. I asked her brother as well, and he wanted shoes and a shirt too. The families of these children are in fact going to receive toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, food, vitamins, shampoo and more for Christmas (with your help). But the children will additionally receive toys, music, games, and cake; a full celebration and a special day to remember. It is obvious from the list this young girl gave me that toys and cake and games are not the first thing that comes to these children's minds when they are asked what they want for Christmas. So, imagine how these children and families will feel when not only are they given things that will help them with their basic needs, but when the volunteers of Guimedic arrive with all of that and more. Toys to play with, games to enjoy, and cake to eat.


I am not a child in extreme poverty, but we are all human and can relate to each other in one way or another. I think about it this way; when I am sick and I ask a friend to bring me some soup, and instead they come with soup, hot chocolate, ice cream, tissues, medicine, and a movie to watch together, I feel overwhelmed (in the best way possible). I think it is a basic human need for every individual to know that they have someone in their lives who cares about them enough to go above and beyond what they needed or asked for.


Acts of kindness and sacrifice (of time, money, or any other resource) tell people that they are valuable, that they matter, that they are worthy of amazing things. And I'm sure you can imagine the incredible impact that can have on a person's daily life. The way I see it, there is no better way to keep a family in the cycle poverty and need than to have parents who feel like they aren't worth anything, like their life doesn't matter to anyone, or like there is no point to get out of bed and go to work. Equally, there is no better way to keep a kid out of school than when they feel the same way.


In this way I hope you can see why this Christmas Project is important to both Guimedic and to us here at IMG Give. Helping communities thrive is not simply about providing medical care or supplies, or even gifts. It's sometimes about the invisible things that you are depositing in a community and instilling in the hearts of individuals. These are often the things that make huge differences.

The "How"


How to Give


The following payment methods were provided by Guimedic in order to give to this project. It is estimated that a donation of $25 will be enough to support one child and their family, although you can give less or more as you feel comfortable doing.


*** The deadline to give is the 12th of December ***


Information by Guimedic Humanitarian Medical Association

We want to keep track of how much overall impact we all make together through IMG Give, and we want to make sure we give you credit for being involved in this project. So, when you give, send us confirmation of the amount (screenshot, receipt, etc.) to img.give@gmail.com providing your full name. Also, Guimedic has asked that a description like "Christmas Project" is written when donating to them so that they are able to determine which of their projects the donation will go to.


If you want to participate in IMG Give, go to the "Other" tab at the top of the page and click on "Participant Information". Participants will have access to our Facebook group, where photos, videos, and information will be shared that will not be accessable anywhere else. We also hope to use this group to collaborate with all of our participants in order to decide what we want to do in the future. You could play a very important role in shaping the future impact of IMG Give.


I will also add that not every project will only involve online giving. We want to provide ways to serve in person to all of those who find themselves in Mexico, and we hope to do that soon.


Thank you all for your time and contribution. If you have any questions feel free to reach out through the "Contact" page of our website.


- Naomi Graham, Founder of IMG Give


Image: Guimedic volunteers bringing supplies to the community where the Christmas project is taking place. Photograph by Naomi Graham