“A Big Hug from All of Us”

Melaleuca and Its Marketing Executives Receive a Touching Gift from the Children of the Santa Lucia Children’s Home

The Melaleuca family was recently surprised with a precious gift from the rescued children at Santa Lucia Children’s Home in Quito, Ecuador. Along with a beautifully framed work of art comprised of their toe prints and strands of their hair, the children at the orphanage sent a heartfelt letter of thanks.

This gift perfectly captures their gratitude for the many donors who have supported the orphanage through the Melaleuca Foundation. It also serves as a fitting monument to an incredible relationship that began several years ago.

Run by a dedicated group of nuns, the Santa Lucia Children’s Home is an orphanage unlike any other. There are no vast dormitories with rows of beds, but rather several houses where the children, biologically related or not, live together in loving family units as brothers and sisters. Each small family is cared for by “house mothers” who nurture the children and ensure their physical, mental, and emotional needs are met.

“These children come to us with hidden love, buried deep within them,” says Sora Inez, the head nun at Santa Lucia. “There is something about the children that is divine, that says to the staff and the nuns and the house mothers, ‘I’m worthwhile. I have a life. I’m wonderful. I have love to give and to share.’”

Touched by the unique spirit of the orphanage and the precious children living there, Frank and Belinda VanderSloot served as the sole supporters of Santa Lucia for several years. But in 2007, Melaleuca’s Executive Director Council stepped forward and voted to take on the orphanage as its signature cause.

Since then, the Melaleuca Foundation has provided everything the children need—food, medical care, clothing, beds, toys, school supplies, and more—thanks to Marketing Executives’ incredible generosity. Monthly pledges to the Melaleuca Foundation also go toward adoption services, and since 2011 over 100 children from Santa Lucia have been adopted by or been placed with loving families.

If you’ve ever given to the Melaleuca Foundation, thank you. This gift belongs to you. The children of Santa Lucia may not know your name, but they know your heart.

“Thank you, thank you, for everything you do,” Sora Inez says. “We may not know you personally, but we see miracles every day because of the love you have in your hearts. You are giving these children life. You are giving them hope. You are changing families’ lives. God will repay you for the wonderful work you do.”