Celebrated on January 6th, “Dia de los Reyes Magos” is a catholic holiday celebrated on the final day of the “12 Days of Christmas” In Mexico, children traditionally leave out their shoes with a bit of hay in them to feed the animals of the Kings, so that in the morning, the hay is replaced with toys and gifts.
For the past five years, island resident, Susan Bonnet and her “Los Ninos que Limpian Cozumel” neighborhood group have been collecting toys, toothbrushes, and other items to ensure that less fortunate children on the island will have a very happy 3 Kings Day. Over the years, her backyard project has grown and really become a community event. Through it all, Susan, who has also served on the board of the Cozumel Red Cross, has quietly assisted the Cozumel community without any fanfare. Sadly this year, Susan is facing health issues that will prevent her from participating in this year’s 3 Kings Celebration. Another island resident, Kathy McGinn, has graciously stepped up to continue the tradition in Susan’s place.
Susan will shy away from a camera – she likes to quietly stay in the background and give the credit to people who will help her, help Cozumel. But it was a camera lens that finally captured the love Susan Bonnett has for this island and the people who live here.
Four years ago the group went to Las Fincas, an area full of wonderful families. Each year Susan gathers up gifts for this group and there’s more! She includes the people living at Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II, Cozumel’s nursing home, and the Bomberos – firemen who dedicate themselves to keeping us all safe.
But this year Susan won’t be able to do the work she loves. In September, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has to her turn attention to fighting instead of giving. But before she started that battle, she addressed her first concern – taking care of the people she loves. She made some calls and taking that call was tough for her friends. Not only do they worry about this wonderful lady – those are one big pair of shoes to fill!
Last year alone, Susan and her helpers gave out over 450 gifts to the children of Cozumel. Each year, however, they run out of presents before running out of children. That’s why toys (small or large), baby items and – even though it’s not the children’s favorite gift – tooth brushes, paste and dental floss are always appreciated. If your budget says no, free stuff like soaps and shampoos from hotels are welcome and the girls just love those perfume samples we all receive.
Susan’s friend Jan at the No Name Sports Bar & Restaurant is helping collect the donations or you can simply send an email to Kathy McGinn at email@example.com or Gena Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make arrangements to pick up the donation.
Please keep our brave friend Susan in your prayers. Nothing will be better than her return to the work she loves and the opportunity to snap one more picture of the lady who has a heart as big as Cozumel.
This story originally appeared in the weekly Cozumel 4 You NEWS – the island’s number one source of positive information about our island! Be sure and subscribe to the weekly NEWS to find out all the island events!…