New desks at New Hope

Welch family at New Hope

The Welch family at New Hope with school director Mynor Lemus and first grader Josselyn Johana Moto, who does not currently have a sponsor.

The Welch family recently donated $3,000 worth of new desks and chairs for the first and sixth grade classrooms at New Hope School. The Chicago-area family visited as part of the New Hope/Hubbard Woods school collaboration, now in its third year. The Welches first got to know New Hope faculty in 2009 when they hosted several New Hope teachers visiting Chicago and Hubbard Woods. They have hosted teachers both visits since, in 2010 and 2011 as well.

Before the desk donation, New Hope School was using big, heavy tables that sat ten students each. It was in the New Hope plan for 2012 to buy new desks to be able to facilitate small group and individual work. The desks were purchased, thanks to the donation, about a week before the family visited, and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held when the family arrived in New Hope.

The Welches traveled to Guatemala with another family, the Bechtels, for a service-oriented spring break. They spent half their time getting to know Guatemala and the other half at New Hope, where they brought activities for parents, teachers, and students. About their spring break trip Greg says, “The decision to spend our spring break with Common Hope proved to be life changing for our family. In the end, we certainly received far more than we gave and it is now a memory that none of us will ever forget. For us, we saw it as an adventurous way to not only spend quality time with our kids but also to demonstrate the importance of giving back. Teaching our own kids to give of themselves to others less fortunate is a life lesson that was truly brought to life in Guatemala. Our kids are dying to make the trip again. And that says it all!”

In addition to their donation of classroom equipment, the Welches sponsored preschool student Sonia Ivett while at New Hope. About their decision to sponsor Greg says, “Obviously the world is filled with worthy causes. For us, sponsoring a child at Common Hope was an easy decision, particularly after we were able to see firsthand how these incredibly needy children are benefiting from the school. It is an efficient organization which is well run by caring and professional teachers who truly love these kids. Common Hope is changing lives, one child at a time, and we are confident that over time, it will prove to be transformational for these communities.”

Many thanks to the Welch family for their support of quality education in Guatemala. If you would like to join the Welches in sponsoring a student—Josselyn Johana, in the photo above, is still waiting for a sponsor. You can sponsor her here or contact Jessie Szopinski at

Sonia y Mama

The Welches sponsored Sonia, pictured with her mother, while at New Hope.

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