CNMI community welcomes a new charitable group

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Posted on Jan 26 2021

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Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, third from right, is joined by House Speaker Ed Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), second from left, and board members of non-profit organization Miracle Hands during the ribbon-cutting ceremony last Saturday, Jan. 23, at the charity’s Gualo Rai office, which was then followed by a food drive. (Neil Fama)

Non-profit organization Miracle Hands, which aims to help the community’s disadvantaged residents, introduced itself to the Commonwealth community last Saturday with a soft-opening at its new facility in Gualo RaI.

Around 35 people attended the soft-opening to either congratulate or help hand food donations to Miracle Hands. Among them were Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Bishop Ryan Jimenez, Saipan Community Church pastor Stephen Dame, church officials from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, House Speaker Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), and Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan).

Chandis Cooper, one of the charity’s founder and its board secretary, said that Saturday’s event included a distribution of donated bags of food to more than 200 families. Cooper said 48 bags were set aside to be delivered to those who were unable to come and pick up the food due to lack of transportation or because they are in poor health.

“We have received donors from various sponsors since the inception of our charity,” she said.

Miracle Hands’ sponsors include but are not limited to Wushin Co., which donated over 800 lbs of rice; Great Harvest, which donated over $3,000 worth of bread; I Love Saipan, which donated boxes of chocolates and a box of hydroponic lettuce; Numbers Corp., which donated $200; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which donated $5,000 and manpower to help with the distribution during the soft-opening; Saipan Vegas Resort, which donated $500; and the Rotary Club of Saipan, which donated three pallets of frozen goods.

“For the soft-opening distribution, we used $3,000 from the $5,000 that the LDS Church donated to buy food and supplies that [were] included in the bags [handed out last Saturday],” said Cooper.

Each recipient received a can of Spam, two cans of tuna, a 5-lb. bag of rice, two cans of Vienna sausage, and two packs of ramen noodles. Additionally, Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan donated 100 pieces of Fiesta Resort T-shirts, 108 teddy bears, and three boxes of Bibles that were previously used in their rooms.

The Saipan Mayor’s Office also donated a 20×40 tent and manpower that was used to clear the debris across the office or parking and distribution. Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan) donated three 10×20 tents. Terry ’N Bolis donated $200 worth of refreshments for the soft opening, while Local Taste Catering donated $150 worth of refreshments. Miracle Hands is also grateful to the Natibu Lions Club.

According to Miracle Hands chief executive officer Dr. Rosalyn Ajoste, one person who had been furloughed was able to take advantage of their thrift shop and bought seven pairs of jeans. Ajoste said that all money they raise from their thrift shop goes straight back to buying food for families.

Aside from founders Cooper and Ajoste, Miracle Hands is also made up of board chair Diego M. Sablan, treasurer Ellena Sutton, operations manager Renee Reyes-Torres, and board member Edward Terlaje.

MD: Miracle Hands helps 200 families.

KW: Miracle Hands, food distribution.

Justine Nauta
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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