A Day at the Beach for Local Shelter Residents

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By Jeanne Walker

Benita Sabino Morales, of La Paz, graciously turned her home into a shelter for women and children several years ago.  The shelter usually has around 32 residents, 15-24 children.  Several of these women and children are unable to stay with their own families, or don’t have a family to stay with.  Benita has several goals to help the women learn self-supporting skills for themselves and children.

On one of the really hot Tuesdays in late July, tons of fun was had by the children of Mama Benita’s Shelter. They were treated to a day at the beach by Jeanne Walker and her husband Tom Brown of La Paz Cruisers Supply, and Bryon Harker and his staff at Harker Stand Up Paddle Boards.

What’s better than spending a hot day playing in the cool water, learning to use a SUP board with a lesson from Sergio Garcia of Deportes de La Paz, or just playing on them?  Getting to have pizzas for lunch, of course!  The smiles were nonstop all day!

They had extra help from friends who also wanted to play at the beach: the award winning trumpet player Terry Townson and his wife Valerie, and Tom Ireton, local photographer.  Several of the staff of Harker Stand Up Boards donated their morning either in the water to help the children, or to cook pizzas.

Jeanne and Tom own La Paz Cruisers Supply at Marina Palmira, a shop dedicated to help cruisers maintain and repair their boats.  A few years ago Jeanne learned two interesting pieces of information – the first that cruisers were tossing out perfectly good food at the end of their seasons, and secondly, Mama Benita’s shelter would accept that perfectly good food!  Jeanne put the two together by offering a collection location at their store and personally delivering the items to the shelter.

Recently some major, much needed renovations have been done at the shelter. There is still a need for more assistance – food, electricity, propane, warm clothing, and bedding and much more.  If you have an interest in helping out with a donation or would like more information, please contact Jeanne Walker at (612) 117 5619 or pmtwalker@hotmail.com.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Ireton.

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