For more than a decade, El Dorado Hills residents Brandon and Alisha Mecier, along with many caring volunteers, have dedicated their time and resources to making people’s lives better thousands of miles away.
“People who are blessed have great opportunities to provide for others,” Brandon said.
The non-profit Faithful Stewards has done just that for the residents of Nueva Vida, Nicaragua, and the public can support its mission by attending the seventh annual Faithful Stewards Wine and Dessert Silent Auction on Friday, March 28.
The event features gourmet desserts, a silent auction featuring vacation getaways, restaurant gift certificates and more, wine tasting, live music and dance performances.
“It’s always a lot of fun,” Brandon said.
Funds raised at the event and through Faithful Stewards’ sponsorship program help 15,000 Nicaraguans who lost everything when Hurricane Mitch hit the poor Central American country in 1998. Driven from their homes, the refugees resettled on pastureland and built a nueva vida (new life).
Over the years, Faithful Stewards has helped the community create micro-enterprises — a bakery, family farms, jewelry shop and café — and together they’ve built a classroom to teach English and hosted children’s soccer camps; a feeding center serves meals to hundreds of people; and last year, the Meciers and volunteers took children camping and to a water park, many for the first time and started the Vaso De Leche (glass of milk) program which provides a nutritious breakfast before school for 200 children daily.
This year, Brandon said they hope to raise enough money to take 100 children to a waterpark. They’re also planning another soccer tournament and will help build the community’s 15th church and a community library during their scheduled trip, April 11-19.
New this year, volunteers will make home visits to some of the community’s poorest families, gather a list of needs and purchase those supplies.
This will be the eighth Faithful Stewards volunteer trip and the 11th time the Meciers have traveled to the community (though it’s the first trip for little Trey Mecier, 7 months old).
“We just love the people and because we focus on the same community we really get to know them,” Brandon said. “These people really have nothing but they appreciate everything they have.”
The Meciers and volunteers have watched the children grow up. Second- and third-graders are now heading off to college. Faithful Stewards has provided 10 college scholarships to encourage the community’s youth to pursue higher education.
The seventh annual Faithful Stewards Wine and Dessert Silent Auction begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 28, at Lakehills Covenant Church, 7000 Rossmore Lane in El Dorado Hills. Tickets are $30 per person.