Better Than Disney World

By Michael Trujillo

CRS Fair Trade benefactor Adonis Santiago, 5, with his mother Maria Escalante.

CRS Fair Trade benefactor Adonis Santiago, 5, with his mother Maria Escalante. Photo by Alex Núñez. Used with permission.

Last month, Stephanie Bossee, CRS program coordinator for the Diocese of Orlando, spoke to students at St. Francis of Assisi’s Vacation Bible School. She talked about CRS’s commitment to fair trade and our partnership with companies to ensure livable wages and better lives for those we serve overseas. St. Francis of Assisi’s Children’s Faith Formation Coordinator Yahaira Olmeda and her students were inspired and decided to collect funds to help their brothers and sisters in other countries.

Adonis Santiago, 5, came in one day with a bag full of coins to put in the collection jar. Because other kids in the crew did not have anything to put in the jar that day, Yahaira’s sister, a Vacation Bible School teacher, asked the boy if he would be willing to have the other kids put some of his money into the jar. Adonis agreed and started handing coins to the other kids. Expecting Adonis to give maybe a coin or two to each kid, Yahira’s sister was surprised and delighted when he stuck his hand in the bag and started handing out coins by the fistful.

Later, Yahaira’s sister made a comment to Adonis’ mom, Maria Escalante, of how awesome her son’s actions had been. Maria then shared with Yahaira’s sister that the money her son had donated was the money that Adonis and his sister had been saving up go to Disney World. When Adonis had gotten home the day before, he had told his sister what he wanted to do, and his sister asked, “Are you sure you want to give our Disney money?”

“Yes,” he replied, “because other people need it.”

“God’s power to touch even the youngest of hearts is so amazing,”
said Yahaira. “I am so proud of our kids. They were able to collect $395.15 to help our brothers and sisters in need. To get a glimpse of our kids’ generous hearts is such a blessing.”

Michael Trujillo is a communications relationship manager for Catholic Relief Services, operating out of the Southeast Regional office in Atlanta.

Share on Twitter

One Response to “Better Than Disney World”

  1. Maryselle Beadle Says:


    I’ve had the honor to spend time with Adonis in multiple activities. He is the kind of kid that you will never forget. Like I said, it was my honor to get to spend time with him and a privilege to learn from his actions and behavior. May his path in life will always keep the light shining for him and others.

Leave a Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.