What Does Summer Mean to You?

My mom & I volunteering at Esperança's recent Mother's Day event - it's a family affair!

From the CEO's Desk: A Special Request from Jeri Royce

I don’t know about you, but I have many wonderful summer memories throughout my life – some from my childhood and others as an adult and a mother. Family vacations, no school, playing outside until it got dark, and summer camp. Summer was different than the rest of the year - a little more relaxed, staying up later than usual, and feeling as though I had some extra breathing room in an already overly busy life. I was fortunate to grow up and later to create for myself a life that included “summer” as described in this wonderful quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air.”

What I also know to be true is that there are people in the world for whom there is no “summer.” No time off, no vacations, and the hardships experienced in everyday life just keep coming.  In Nicaragua, Peru, Mozambique, and Bolivia, families still need to tend the crops, feed and water the animals, gather the water, and go to those jobs that makes survival possible. And right here in Arizona, our families are having to go to work, arrange for the kids to be cared for and fed since there is no school and no free or reduced breakfast and lunch, and pay higher electric bills due to the 110 degree temperatures or deal with the heat with no air conditioning at all. Life is not lighter, easier, or fun. And there never is any extra breathing room.

In the nonprofit world, summer typically means less in donations and that has historically been true for Esperança. I think this is because the people giving the money – like you and me – are enjoying our time off and travelling, and maybe our philanthropy drops off the radar. I get it and while my life may be slowing down a bit, the needs of our families have not slowed down one bit. They need me and they need you!

I give to several organizations, including Esperança and I’ve committed to take on a personal challenge of increasing my giving by 10% over the summer. Will you join me? If you’re giving monthly, consider upping your monthly gift by 10%; if you give once or twice a year, consider giving 10% above your annual contributions in the summer. Whatever extra you’re able to give will be received with gratitude and go to those we serve to improve health and provide hope.

You and I will enjoy our summer and our commitment to step it up just a little will impact those who need it most. Thank you for joining me in the 10% challenge between now and August.

P.S. Want to become a monthly donor and ensure our life-transforming work is sustained – even in the summer…? Sign up here.


What do my dollars mean?


can provide clean, flowing water to one individual each month


can prevent costly, painful cavities for 3 children each month through oral health education workshops


can ensure SAFETY for single moms combating HIV – delivering antiviral medication, providing education and agricultural training to improve overall health

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