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Got a moment?

By Evelyn Camero
On November 5, 2011

  • TAMIU students celebrating Halloween with the children of Sacred Heart. Photo by Evelyn Camero


On October 28, 2011 the members of the Club Alma Gitana, Dance Club, young dance club, and the Roughneck Motorcycle club of the Texas A&M International University took some time off their busy schedule and congregated to once again share exceptional moments and celebrate Halloween with the children of the Sacred Heart Orphanage.

Bede Leyendecker Assistant Professor in Chair at TAMIU and sponsor of the Club Alma Gitana Club explains that she, "has always had a special affection for the children". Leyendecker also states that, "it has been about four years", since she first started visiting the orphanage regularly. Some of the children Leyendecker claim she has seen since the start, "many of the children that live in the orphanage have parents, but the parents either cannot afford to keep the children at home or they are abusive or they are in jail".  Leyendecker added that, "It breaks her heart to see that happen within our society and that she always tries to do all she can to help Sister Isidra", Leyendecker added that, helping the children of the orphanage by giving them a little of her time is more of a pleasure rather than a burden.

Furthermore Leyendecker also explains how this tradition has grown in members since other clubs have joined the cause, and like the Club Alma Gitana Members they collect toys, candy, or money to give to the children of the orphanage. Leyendecker states that, it makes her very happy that more and more students have gotten, "hooked", and are going out to the orphanage and meeting the children of Sacred Heart Orphanage. Although Leyendecker affirms that the numbers of members have grown, she still wishes more and more people would join the cause since the number of children living in the orphanage is always on the rise.

Moreover Officer George Bonilla of the TAMIU Police Department and member of the Roughneck motorcycle club explains the "overwhelming" feeling he feels when he is at the orphanage. He claims that the feeling of seeing the smile on the children face when they arrive at the place is indescribable. Bonilla states that the Roughneck motorcycle club is fairly new to the tradition but has loved to have joined the cause. Bonilla claimed that the Roughneck members are usually in charge of cooking the meals for the children and for the people attending the celebrations; he also claimed that they collect money to buy gifts for the children around the Christmas time. Bonilla encourages other people that own motorcycles to join the cause, he explains that the children "get very excited" to hop on the motorcycles and take pictures, he suggest that "more the merrier" it would be to have other people that like them get involved in the life of these children.

Grizelda Dozal President of the Alma Gitana Club, graduate student, and sponsor of the TAMIU young dancers explains that what they do at the orphanage, "is just all about fun", every time we come out here. She claims that she, "likes to share rewarding experiences" with the children and that visiting them has become "one of the most rewarding experiences that make your day and make anyone feel great".

Sister Maria Del Rosario a caregiver at the orphanage explains that, there has been a climate of confidence created already since the members of various TAMIU clubs have been visiting for a while. Sister Maria Del Rosario claims that every time the children get visited they always get very excited because they know they will learn new educational things. Sister also stated that the children always appreciate the time that is been given to them by their visitors whether it be minute or an hour, "our children always really enjoy every minute of it".

Stephanie Molina one of the children that lives at the orphanage claims that "she feels happy and feels that people actually care" when they go visit them. Molina explains that she is grateful for all the things that the members from various TAMIU clubs have given them.  Molina also added that she would like people to know that " that not only because they are orphans" they are bad kids or will turn out to be bad kids, Molina affirms that the sisters at the orphanage help them live and guide them to be someone in life. Stephanie also took this time to invite the entire TAMIU campus and Laredoans take some time to go give them a visit; she promises that no one will regret it if they so.

If you or your club will like to join the tradition in visiting with the children or want more information about the Sacred Heart Orphanage you can contact Bede Leyendecker at (956) 326-2649 or email her at, you may also contact me at evelyn_camero@dusty.tamiu.edufor any additional information.

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