Roanoke-based group helps street children

Roanoke-based group helps street children

A $250 donation covers the cost of one child’s uniforms, books, supplies and shoes for the school year.

Retired Circuit Court Judge Diane Strickland knew there was more she could do to help her daughter, Danielle, help Mexico’s street kids.

Strickland travels regularly to Guadalajara, where she and her lawyer-husband, Art, tutor children in Danielle’s program.

Earlier this year, she helped launch AHALA, a Roanoke-based nonprofit group that stands for American Hands Aiding Latin American Youth.

Through the organization’s Web site, contributors can make donations to Mexican children’s education. A $250 donation covers the cost of one child’s uniforms, books, supplies and shoes for the school year. A small portion of each donation covers gifts.

"Many of these children have never received a birthday or Christmas present," Diane Strickland said. So far, AHALA has sponsored 11 children in the program.

In September, January and shortly after the child’s birthday, sponsors receive a card or letter from the child, thanking them and telling them how the donation was applied, as well as a picture.

Donors can read online biographies of participants and choose a child to sponsor. They can also correspond with them if they wish. Donations can be made via credit card or PayPal online at ahala.org.

For more information, call (540) 982-7787.

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