Four years after former Safe Passage volunteer TJ Hurst's brother Alex passed away, TJ and his family decided that they wanted to do something in memory of Alex. Alex was a talented musician and TJ approached Safe Passage about donating to support the purchase of new guitars and fund our music program in Alex's memory.  Pledges of $3,000 came in for Alex's music fund to honor a great musician by passing along the gift of music. We at Safe Passage, especially our two music teachers and music students, want to thank TJ and his brother Alex for passing on the gift of music and providing beautiful guitars and talented teachers to help enrich the lives of our students.

Judah Phipps-Costin explained that for the Jewish Bar Mitzvah (for boys) or Bat Mitzvah (for girls) coming of age ceremonies, it's customary to ask for gifts to be made to a worthy cause in lieu of presents. Education, especially for the under-privileged, is a very important issue for Judah. "I was looking around for an organization that supports education and wanted to help one that educates children who would not get it otherwise, so my parents recommended Safe Passage," said Judah. Donations in honor of Judah came in both before and after his June 22nd Bar Mitzvah and have surpassed $1,719 to support Safe Passage's efforts to end the cycle of poverty around the Guatemala City garbage dump through education. We want to thank Judah and all of his Bar Mitzvah supporters for their help, gracias!

The grassroots fundraising efforts represented by Alex's music fund and Judah's Bar Mitzvah dedication help make Safe Passage's work possible. You can start your own grassroots fundraising page to support Safe Passage with our online fundraising software Friends Asking Friends here.