Spirit of Hope Award given to Saul Whynman
By Janell Meador
Saul Whynman was awarded the Spirit of Hope Award by the members of Casita Linda for his years of selfless dedication to improve the lives of families living in San Miguel de Allende in extreme poverty. In 2005, Whynman began as a volunteer with Casita Linda, whose mission is to provide environmentally sustainable, comfortable homes at a low cost for these families, to offer guidance and education for the maintenance of their homes and for the health and education of the families, thereby strengthening the social fabric of the entire community. After serving two years as president of the Casita Linda Board of Directors, Saul Whynman is now President Emeritus.
Saul Whynman came to San Miguel after a distinguished career as an educator and administrator in the State of New York. His professional work with the handicapped, prison populations, and with those in drug treatment programs, not to mention being a volunteer firefighter in New York, all give evidence that his heart has always been dedicated to helping those less fortunate.
Thanks to Saul’s involvement and leadership in Casita Linda, 70 homes have been built since 2005, and he has helped with all but one. His gentle personality and big smile have persuaded dozens of others to contribute financially and to support the programs he believes will sustain the effort to end the cycle of poverty: shelter, health and education.
The children of poverty are Whynman’s main concern. Health is the crucial component necessary for those who would strive for a better future. Once a family has four walls, a roof, and a floor, the most important next step must be education. Casita Linda families all send their children to school, and the parents attend workshops on nutrition, health, safety, and home maintenance. Whynman has been responsible for following up with families after construction, ensuring that the children have the basic needs: beds, mattresses, access to light sources so they may do their homework – sometimes donating the items himself.
Letty Gonzales, Director of Family Selection and Services for Casita Linda says, “Saul is the example of Casita Linda, helping to provide not only a roof and walls, but the warmth of home, a team to watch for the welfare of not only the families, but the workers and employees of Casita Linda.”
Casita Linda, A.C. is a Mexican nonprofit organization founded in 2001. Our primary goal is to construct simple decent housing for people in extreme poverty. For further information please visit our website at: www.casitalinda.org.