Thanks to compassionate caregivers at the Santa Lucia Children’s Home, miracles happen every day with the orphaned and abused children there. Under the watchful eyes of working angels, these children in Quito, Ecuador, have been given a second chance at leading rewarding lives alongside people who love them.
This reality occurs in large part because of your generous donations, which have allowed the Melaleuca Foundation to become the sole financial supporter of the Santa Lucia Children’s Home. But all the money in the world couldn’t change these children’s lives if it weren’t for the love, encouragement and charity of the caregivers who mother them every single day.
For that reason, the Melaleuca Foundation pays tribute to the caregivers and honors their accomplishments in enhancing the lives of these special children.
One shining example of devotion comes from a woman named Lucia Jumbo, a central figure at the orphanage because she’s dedicated more than two decades of her life in service as a caregiver and a House Mother. Although she’s specifically responsible for the eight children who live in House #4, the orphanage’s volunteers say she has unofficially become a mother to all. She possesses a gift that allows children to sense her genuine empathy and understanding for them.
“What I love most about the children at Santa Lucia is their affection and overwhelming tenderness for each other,” Lucia said. “I learn so much from them. They not only teach me, but they teach one another. They truly are a joy to be with, and I adore caring for them.”
Lucia takes care of the children – Andrés, Fernando, Gabriela, Gustavo, Irene, Isabel, Jefferson and Yoselyn. She’s a believer in teaching them the necessary life skills to prepare them for the future. And like many mothers across the world, she prepares breakfast for her kids every morning, helps the older ones get ready for school and cares for the little ones during the day. How exhausting!
When asked about her favorite memory at Santa Lucia, she described the arrival of an 18-month-old toddler named Fernando nine years ago.
“When Fernando came to the home, I knew this little boy was special. But I was terrified to see that he was nothing more than skin and bones. He was completely malnourished. “It didn’t help that he was frightened by most people, especially strangers. He would act like a cat—biting them and clawing with his nails. For some reason, though, he never did that with me.
“Immediately after his arrival, I took Fernando to the doctor. The doctor looked him over and told me his health was so poor he had only a week to live. I wanted to do something, so I continued to ask him questions. As a last resort, the doctor reluctantly gave me feeding instructions to help Fernando get the nutrition he obviously needed.
“I followed the doctor’s instructions faithfully and had faith in God to help this little boy. After weeks of treatment, he miraculously started getting chubbier! Today, Fernando is a healthy little boy who is thriving in the fourth grade! We’ve been together ever since. Fernando is truly a miracle.”
Lucia could share dozens of stories about other miracles that have occurred at Santa Lucia. She says it’s truly a safe haven for children and a place of physical and emotion healing.
How wonderful it is to know that your support is helping Santa Lucia’s extraordinary caregivers give some of the most underprivileged children on Earth a second life. With this in mind, the Melaleuca Foundation invites you to make a small monthly donation. It doesn’t require a huge sacrifice—just a few dollars—every little bit helps. Please join us in supporting these children by visiting www.melaleuca.org or by calling 1-800-282-3000.