Yara Hayek would be excused for still being grief stricken over the September 2013 murder of her sister Nancy Hammour, who was allegedly gunned down and had her body dumped in Newport Beach by two gang members. But Hayek is too busy at the moment spreading the word about a laugh-filled fundraiser for "a wonderful organization which helps drug-addicted mothers and orphanages in Baja, California."
Haz La Diferencia ("Make a Difference") somehow convinced Latin American comedy stars Platanito y La Chupitos to participate in the "Noche de Risas" benefit for the small nonprofit Friday at City National Grove of Anaheim. (Visit Ticketmaster or email email@example.com for ticket information.)
The organization, which is run by five volunteers who take no salaries, educates 80 children in a Baja orphanage and strives to get mothers off the streets and reunited with their children.
"Our efforts start with the children," explains Executive Director William H Messick. "We visit the kids every month and we have a relationship with every child as if they were our own. Most of these children were street kids and many of the moms are on drugs and in prostitution. We've been studying programs in Rwanda where local churches were utilized to reunite families."
Haz La Diferencia plans to roll out a five-step program for the mothers of the children the charity supports next year, encompassing everything from sobriety and parenting skills to finding legal employment and housing. And there are also plans to adapt the program in the United States, Messick says.
You want a lofty goal: He wants all their children in their charges to be educated through college. But doing so will take money, which is where tireless volunteers like Hayek and Friday night's comedy showcase come in.