Recently, Lisa and I were introduced to a 4-year-old boy named Felipe. Great kid...Full of life! He wants to be a policeman when he grows up. Normal boy… sort of.
Felipe was born with a cleft palate. Shortly after his birth he was operated on to fix his lip but what did not happen however, was the fixing of the cleft palate. As he grew Felipe’s front teeth extended way past his lips to the point of making him appear ‘freakish’ to kids his own age. Children… not knowing the consequences of their words… took to calling him Burro (Donkey).
Our little Felipe became very introverted and extremely leery of strangers. His parents took him to many doctors and government officials who promised to help but never did. Time just seemed to drag on. One day his grandma was speaking to a friend of ours and shared Felipe’s story. Our friend immediately came to us to see if there was something we could do. We went to meet him and instantly fell in love with him. Our intention, of course, was to post his case as a dream and watch the everyday philanthropy begin. What we didn’t know however was that everyday philanthropy was alive and well in México too!
We went to visit our friend Dr. Alejandro Estrella, our family orthodontist. We told them about Felipe’s problem and that we would like to post this as a dream on our web site. If he would do the work… we would pay the bill. To our surprise, he said… “I can’t do that. I can’t take money for something like this. God gave me the talent he did so that I could do cases just like this. There will be no cost.”
This week was Felipe’s first appointment. He was so brave! He wants this to happen so badly. Dr. Alejandro was awesome with him! He explained the process he would have to go through to make it happen and his family was overjoyed that it was finally going to happen. After the consult with Dr. Alejandro we took Felipe to a nearby store and bought him a little treat. He was already happy enough! But what happened next just restored my faith in people. Just down the street from the store is a hotel where the Federal Police Force is stationed. When Felipe saw them outside his eyes lit up. His dad told us it is his dream to be a cop when he grows up. So… of course… we had a little plan develop on the spot.
I drove my truck right past the policemen with their guns and their big trucks and pulled over to the side of the road. I got out and told the men that I had a little guy who would like to say hi. They agreed right away but with a little hesitance. When I took Felipe out though and they saw him… they got it right away. He was treated like royalty… they all shook his hand, they placed him in the driver’s seat of the truck, turned on the lights, honked the huge horn and cranked up the siren! It was AWESOME! Big tough guys with soft hearts! Don’t believe what you hear. Not all Mexican policemen are corrupt! There are lots of really great men here fighting for this country!
Although there will be no cost for the work that Dr. Alejandro will do for Felipe, I have promised him one thing. When this is all over, we are going to throw him a huge party with all the kids in his neighborhood. I will post it as a dream so that you can all join in the fun! I have a feeling it won’t be too tough to get that one sponsored!
Despite all the negative press this place receives, we are finding that everyday philanthropy is alive and well right here in México! Iam1ru?