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Three Kings Day To Arrive at Santuario Hogar Guadalupano

By Karla Ortiz

Every January 6 in San Miguel de Allende, children can be seen in the streets, enjoying their new toys brought to them every year by the Three Kings. These children have written their letters asking for toys, cell phones, and computers in advance, which they then sent out by balloons. Some children, however, don’t ask for toys; they just ask the Three Kings to remember them and give them a little warmth and affection.

For the past five years, Bill Mendenhall of Café Monet has been ensuring that these children receive the affection and attention they deserve.

It all started when Mendenhall lived in Vancouver. He volunteered there for some time in a Catholic church, where they had a program called “Christmas Giving Tree,” in which people put gifts for the children under a Christmas tree. He felt it necessary to bring this tradition to San Miguel.

Mendenhall then met Sharon, a volunteer from the Guadalupano Home Shrine, also known as Casa Hogar Mexiquito. She was quite involved with the home, always looking for the best for the boys, and when she met Bill, she asked him if he could have a party for the boys, as he was organizing something for the girls at Casa Hogar Santa Julia. That’s how Bill began to get more involved with the children at the Casa Hogar Mexiquito.

Now every year on January 6, Café Monet organizes a Three Kings Day celebration. On this day, children receive gifts from San Miguel residents who have joined Mendenhall’s cause.

Weeks earlier, Mendenhall asks the sisters at the home for a list of children’s names, clothes and footwear sizes, and age. With this list, people can select a child to give a gift, and Bill gives them a label with the child’s name and details to put on the gift.

The sisters and Mendenhall believe that it is better to give away clothes than toys, because children grow up quickly, and something that can be worn the following year is more useful for them than a toy that can be broken or outgrown easily. Additionally, some children may feel that some toys are not equal, which is not the case with clothes.

When the children arrive on January 6, Bill welcomes the children into Café Monet with hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, French fries, soft drinks, movies, and many gifts. Some of the people who bring gifts also attend this event to see the children’s smiles and the great gratitude they show for such a generous gesture.

This year, 33 children will benefit from this initiative with new footwear and clothing. The ages range from 2 to 25. Many children’s names still remain available on the list, so you can still join the cause and give a gift likely to change the lives of these children. So go to Café Monet and ask one of the waiters or cooks to give you a label with the name of a child. Remember that your gift must be under the Christmas tree before January 6.


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