Pomerado News December 21, 2017

posted Dec 22, 2017, 11:00 PM by Elena Crespo

4S Ranch resident seeks wheelchairs for less fortunate

Elizabeth Marie Himchak

4S Ranch resident Elena Crespo is reviving her wheelchair collection efforts while on winter break from Stanford University.

Crespo, a sophomore majoring in public policy with aspirations to get a master’s in international policy studies and attend law school, said she still has a desire to help the underprivileged like she did while a Del Norte High School student

During her sophomore year, Crespo founded the nonprofit organization Let Children Learn as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. It had several components, including a used wheelchair collection drive for children in Latin America.

Crespo said during her high school years more than 50 wheelchairs were collected. She still has volunteers in her organization and, as a Girl Scout alumna, is working with younger Girl Scouts on their service projects. Therefore, while Crespo will return to college on Jan. 9, she has people in the area who can pick up used wheelchairs and walkers, even those needing repairs or missing parts. To schedule a pickup, email her at elena@letchildrenlearn.org.

They will be sent to Wheels for Humanity, an organization in Latin America that can fix and will distribute the devices to the disabled in Mexico and Costa Rica.

Crespo, the daughter of 4S Ranch residents Julie Purdy and Ivan Crespo, said she is also planning more outreach efforts for Let Children Learn that she can pursue during summer break. They include a project that helps poor children in Belize learn English and establishing a preschool in Guatemala where indigenous youngsters will be taught Spanish, the language spoken at the elementary schools they will attend.

“When they are in kindergarten they fail because they do not have the (language) skills necessary for success,” she said.

She also learned about an “incredibly exciting” project in Bolivia in a community close to where her relatives live where young people living on the streets can participate in a music program. It gives them an extracurricular activity to help them stay out of trouble and teaches them skills while working at a music recording studio. “This is near and dear to my heart,” she said.

Crespo said many of her efforts have been made possible through donations and matching grants from various organizations, including Rotary and Kiwanis clubs. Next summer she will also hold some fundraisers, she said.

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