The International Friendship Club (IFC) is a volunteer organization committed to funding charitable causes. Social activities are also available to the membership, many of whom also volunteer countless hours endeavoring to make our programs a success.
The IFC began in 1985 with a handful of people from the United States and Canada meeting socially. This blossomed into the well known charitable organization that exists today.
Through financial contributions, as well as devoted and compassionate service, humanitarian aid in excess of ten million pesos has been provided to needy children and families living in this beautiful tropical city.
The IFC takes pride in its unique Cleft Palate Program. It begins with providing fees for transporting doctors who donate their time to perform the surgeries. It ends with seeing smiles on the children's faces and their parent's tears of joy at its completion.
Additionally, the IFC provides: free medication; disaster relief aid; educational assistance; monthly financial assistance; a dental hygiene program and food to families as well as gifts to other Charitable Institutions.
Our membership has a caring compassionate camaraderie and love for the less fortunate, in abundance. In order to maintain the programs that we support, your assistance is requested. Be so kind as to consider this an invitation to become a valued member of our organization.
The IFC is a registered charitable organization in Mexico listed as Club Internacional de la Amistad.
Where aid is provided:
Through donations, membership fees and fundraising, the IFC has successfully sponsored many projects. Your donations, which include educational materials and medical supplies and equipment, make it possible for us to continue to do more.
Your volunteer time enhances projects as well as the lives of all concerned. We welcome your participation, which is valued.
Your support, which this organization depends upon, is essential to our success.
The IFC provides: Community Aid Services, Medical assistance; Educational assistance; Food to families, as well as gifts to other Charitable Institutions.
Our mission is to bring a smile to life, to give hope and a better situation to a child or the entire family. We connect those who need, with those who have. Most of our donors do not wish to visit the families; they are content just to contribute. We appreciate all who enable us to REACH OUT.
Other places our Community Aid Services provides help is to the patients of the Regional Hospital and the Juvenile Reform facility with supplies of soap and shampoo. You can donate any unused products from your hotel to our office for redistribution to the needy.
Dental Hygiene Aid - Whether it is to the children in the cleft palate program, kids groups or to families in need, we provide dental hygiene education, booklets for toddlers on dental hygiene, also toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Monthly stipends are being granted to the following...
SANTA BARBARA REHABILITATION CLINIC - We provide financial assistance to this clinic for the physically disabled.
SALVATION ARMY - We provide funding for their “After School Program” where children are assisted with schoolwork, kept occupied with crafts and given a nutritious snack. They also rescue children from the street, and offer counseling for families vulnerable to substance/drug addiction and child abuse.
IFC RICE AND BEANS PROGRAM - Provide funding for a “Rice and Beans” program that distributes food to families whose children attend school on a regular basis.
R.I.S.E. – Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza (Children's Shelter of Hope). We provide funds to help them with their needs for the handicapped and orphaned children in the community.
Through our volunteers, we have an ongoing school assistance program, which improves schools in challenged areas around Puerto Vallarta by building kitchens, screening windows and putting bars on windows for security.
Donated supplies and books in Spanish are also distributed to schools in need.
Large items such as desks, blackboards, and special education equipment are also provided when the budget allows.
SCHOOL SUPPLY AID - School begins at the height of the low tourist season when families are financially strapped the most. Primary grades K through 5 are tuition free, but uniforms, shoes, backpacks and mandatory classroom supplies are not free. Without these they cannot attend school, thus becoming street kids. While not all children in need end this way, it is all too frequent for a child to be unable to attend regular classes. They fall behind in their grade level making it easier for everyone to say “no need” to junior high or high school that is not mandatory or free! Backpacks and colored pencils are the most needed.
Additionally, we support...
BECAS - The IFC provides this institution with additional funding for their Scholarship Program. Their objective is to assist deserving students with bursaries for their continuing education.
LOS MANGOS LIBRARY - We provide funds on a monthly basis to the library to help maintain staff and services that would otherwise be cut.
In addition to Cleft Palate surgeries, the IFC and our medical teams are involved in reconstructive surgery for birth defects like webbed fingers and toes, missing and disfigured noses and ears, etc. Recently, we took on the case of a 6 year old child with third degree burns of the mouth and chest.
Through our Patricino program, we help families with medical situations. Recently, we helped a man regain his eyesight after he was blinded by glaucoma. The man now can work and support this family.
Celia and Ron Walker of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, initiated this program in 1976 when the baby of a friend was born with a cleft palate. Their need to help led them to a surgeon in Guadalajara who provided his expertise.
Soon there was another child in need. Eventually, there were too many children to transport to Guadalajara. Ron arranged for the surgeon to come to Puerto Vallarta. He and other concerned members approached the IFC for sponsorship and funding.
Since 1987 the IFC has funded this worthwhile and rewarding program. It remains committed to continuing this program in association with Dr. Ezequiel Fuentes and his surgical team from Guadalajara, for as long as the need exists.
Over forty children annually benefit from reconstructive surgery, which is followed up by orthodontia and speech therapy. In some cases the whole process takes up to fifteen years to complete. Dr. Fuentes’s Teams of Surgeons, who volunteer their skills, and your donations, are instrumental in creating new faces for the children.
The IFC covers all costs from beginning to end for both the Surgical Team and the families. We genuinely appreciate the time, skill and generosity offered by Dr. Fuentes, the Surgical Team and the Regional Hospital without whom this much-needed program could not exist.
It is estimated that the IFC spends over a quarter million pesos on this program annually. Your generosity makes it possible for us to serve many disfigured children. Even though some of the “before” pictures are startling, the “after” pictures are heartwarming. Knowing that you have contributed to bettering the lives, both physically and emotionally, of the children involved, will surely make you proud.
With your support this over twenty year old “Cleft Palate Program” will continue to provide services to the local population as long as the need exists.
In 2008, the International Friendship Club, for the first time applied and received some funding from the Smile Train foundation to help us cover a portion of our expenses.
With your continued support the IFC Traditional Home Tours has continued its mission and put a smile on many of our less fortunate members of the community for over two decades.
The proceeds from the tours fund a number of Puerto Vallarta charities, primarily our Cleft Palate Surgical Program and other in house Educational and Community Service Programs. It also provides assistance to Becas Vallarta, the Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza (R.I.S.E), the Los Mangos Biblioteca, Santa Barbara Clinic Rehab and the Salvation Army among others.
All the work is accomplished by volunteer club members dedicated to contributing to our long established goals of a giving a helping hand to the less fortunate children of Puerto Vallarta and its surrounding areas.
Visit the IFC website for more information.
The IFC helps to meet the needs of folks in the Puerto Vallarta Community.
If you are coming by plane, train, boat or car, you can tuck some of the following wish list items into your luggage. They can be brought to the Clubhouse, or contact the office at 322 - 222 - 5466 to make arrangements. If you cannot bring a wish list item - please make a donation to our general fund, or the Medical, Community Support or Education fund.
The IFC is people working together for the community. We need:
Spanish videos on nutrition, healthcare, hygiene, dental care
TV/VCR or TV/DVD combo for teaching
Books for children in Spanish - all ages
Child size walker
Children's underwear and white socks
Large collapsible strollers for kids with cerebral palsy
Dental supplies, toothbrushes, dental floss
Shoes and clothes for children ages 6 - 14 .
Stroller type wheelchairs for older children
Teaching videos in Spanish (nutrition, diabetes, general health, hygiene, etc)
Vitamins for children and adults
Watercolors, fine paint brushes, art supplies
Watercolors, fine paint brushes, art supplies
Last updated: February 22, 2020 · Charity ID: 107
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