We have long been partners with the band Sister Hazel. They make a unique kind of music that blends country and rock’n’roll harmonies with Southern pop. They’ve dubbed their fans “Hazelnuts” and for several years now, the guys in the band and their fans have sponsored children in Honduras.
Children Living In a Dump
Three years ago, Sister Hazel visited the community where their sponsored children live. Los Laureles is situated at the base of a huge dump which young and old alike scour for plastic and metal items to sell to recycling. Most of the homes are built out of garbage: nylon, cardboard, tin sheets and any other material they can find. Very few houses are built with cement blocks. Some of the houses are built high up on a plateau of the community, and because of the uneven and steep terrain, are very difficult to get to. None of these homes have indoor plumbing.
Before Feed the Children arrived here, food supplies were very irregular. A church would provide 2 meals a week, and the government distributed some basic staples like rice, corn, and beans, but done in very basic conditions. The kids were malnourished, anemic, and riddled with parasites.
We asked a mom about what those days were like. Gennis is the mother of 5, including a first-grader named Kimberly. Gennis explained, “My children many times attended classes with only one cup of coffee in their stomach because I didn’t have anything else to give.”
Feed the Children’s Work with Los Laureles
Before Sister Hazel adopted the community in 2012, Feed the Children had worked for several years with help from generous partners, including TOMS, Vitamin Angels, and others, to provide nourishing food, medical care, vitamins, backpacks and school supplies, clothes and shoes, and improvements to the school facilities.
When Sister Hazel visited, they connected with the people of Los Laureles in such a profound way that the guys returned to the USA fired up about doing something BIG to help the community become independent.
Two years ago, Sister Hazel challenged the Hazelnuts to do two things: sponsor every one of the 221 children in Los Laureles, a goal they reached in December 2013, and raise the $75,000 needed to build a real feedingcenter for the community. This new facility will be a sturdy and permanent building with a steady supply of safe drinking water, a real kitchen, and soap and water for basic hygiene.
The Hazelnuts came through in a BIG way. Within a year, they’d raised the money!
In December 2013, our president and CEO Kevin Hagan, along with his wife Elizabeth, visited Los Laureles for the groundbreaking of the new feeding center.
Today, we are thrilled to announce that the new center is open! Sister Hazel returned to the community to witness the transformation there and to celebrate the feeding center’s grand opening.
Grand Opening Festivities
If you’re familiar with Sister Hazel, or if you want to get to know their music, they’re releasing a special anniversary collection to celebrate 20 years of award-winning music. The album, 20 STAGES, includes live recordings, videos culled from 20 of the band’s favorite venues, and 3 brand new, never released tracks. 20 Stages is available now on iTunes & Amazon, in select Best Buy stores as well as Sister Hazel’s official online merch store