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After crossing the border, we were all excited to explore Nogales and give school supplies to children in town. As we walked around the village, we realized that there were actually very few children around. We quickly found out from a street vendor that kids were in school until 1:30pm, so we figured it was the perfect time for us to grab some lunch before distributing school supplies.
We all LOVE mexican food and couldn’t wait to taste the local grub. We found a cute cantina that was packed with locals and each ordered our favorite dish from enchiladas to fajitas to chilaquiles. All of the meals were delicious and the perfect thing to eat before the journey.
As we left the restaurant, we checked to make sure that we had all of our bags and then headed to the nearby elementary school. We set up our little distribution center at a bench near the front of the gate to meet as many children as possible when they got done with school. JB spoke to one of the teachers and asked her if the students would want free school supplies. She said of course and told him that she would point the kids in our direction when the they left the gate.
Other kids, with their parents waiting for their siblings to come out of school, came up to us and received school supplies. This was perfect because we were able to explain to the parents what we were doing there. They were surprised and excited for all of their kids to be able to have new school supplies of their own.
Suddenly the school bell rang and hundreds of children ran up to us. No one could believe that we were giving away school supplies. We lined all of the kids up, with the help of the wonderful moms, and one by one interviewed them (asked for their name, age, favorite subject in school and what they want to be when they grow up), gave each of them a school supply set and took their photo.
The parents, children and teachers were all grateful for what we were doing. They thanked us multiple times and asked why we were giving school supplies away for free. We told them all about Life Out of the Box and explained that we believe every child in the world, including theirs, could develop into the person that they want to become through hard work & education. They loved it and agreed with us 100%.
We ended up giving out school supply packets to every child of the hundreds that wanted one that day. It was, as always, a very rewarding experience for us. This is why we do what we do.
After distributing school supplies for over an hour, we gave each other a huge hug filled with joy. Giving school supplies to all of those kids was a lot of work, but it was worth every second. Our minds were filled with images of smiling kids with new school supplies and happy moms thanking us as they walked away. We zipped up our suitcases and headed back to our car in Arizona to complete the road-trip back to Tempe.
We both always reflect on each give back trip and realize that none of this could have been accomplished without our supporters. So thank you to all of you amazing people who read our blog, buy a bracelet and/or share our mission with your friends. We couldn’t do this without your support. Together we made a difference. To see all of the beautiful kids we gave to in Nogales, Mexico that day, check out our LOOTB Gives site.