During a recent National Sales Meeting, colleagues in Pfizer Animal Health’s U.S. Cattle and Equine Business Unit decided to forgo some food and beverages throughout the week and instead donate the money saved to Bethel Orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. The $11,000 donation from Pfizer Animal Health represents about 6 percent of the orphanage’s annual operating budget.
“We are honored to support Bethel Orphanage, which plays such an important role in serving abused and abandoned children in Juarez,” says Rob Kelly, vice president, U.S. Cattle and Equine Business Unit, Pfizer Animal Health. “We especially appreciate the staff’s focus on education. In fact, some of its former residents have gone on to successful careers as engineers and veterinarians.”
Ruben Lopez is one such success story. Lopez’s mother took him and his brother to Bethel Orphanage when they were 7 and 6 years old, respectively, to protect them from an alcoholic stepfather. “My mother didn’t go to school and was unable to provide for us. She asked for help, and the orphanage gave us food and a home and encouraged us to study,” explains Lopez. “When my mother left us at Bethel Orphanage, she said a part of her heart was staying there with us.”
Lopez lived at Bethel Orphanage until he graduated from high school and went to the University of Juarez, where he is studying to become a veterinarian. He has spent the last four summers working at Eldorado Dairy in Clovis, N.M. “Helping with breeding and reproduction is my favorite part about working at Eldorado,” Lopez says. “I hope to work in the United States after I graduate and I also am thinking about studying for a master’s degree in reproduction.”
Lopez says he learned about the many opportunities in veterinary medicine from Carlton Flatow, Pfizer Animal Health strategic account manager who has been involved with Bethel Orphanage for many years.
“I have been really impressed with the founder of Bethel Orphanage, who has been responsible for these children for 30 years. Local resources are very limited, so she relies on the generosity of others to break the cycle of poverty, violence and lack of education,” says Flatow. “I’m proud of my Pfizer Animal Health colleagues for supporting this effort to provide the basic necessities and education for so many underprivileged children like Ruben. A little goes a long way in Mexico, and it’s very rewarding to help improve the lives of so many.”
By reducing the amount of food and beverages served during the conference, Pfizer Animal Health saved $11,000 and earmarked the money for the approximately 100 children who live at Bethel Orphanage. The donation will provide nearly four months’ worth of food for about half of those children.
Lopez hopes to serve as an inspiration for those young children. He explains, “I love going back to Bethel Orphanage. Telling the kids where my brother and I came from, and explaining how I’m studying to be a veterinarian and my brother is studying to be a civil engineer is fun.”
The Pfizer Animal Health donation was sent to Faith Christian Family Church in Lubbock, Texas, which ensures all donations are delivered to Bethel Orphanage.