Expats, locals mix over YGO breakfast and raise money for charities

David Omer Dodge and Kimberly Davin-DeGraff thank attendees for supporting the efforts of YGO. Photo: Facebook

Breakfast was served Tuesday morning to a banquet room full of expats and locals who reveled in kicking off another Season of Sharing.

Dave Omer Dodge, of Yucatán Giving Outreach, AC, conceived and organized the First Annual Community Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Mérida. Over 300 attendees paid 325 pesos for a seat at one of the 30 tables.



The hotel donated the breakfast, meaning all the proceeds go toward buying food and hygiene products for several local shelters. YGO provides food to 425 people each month, and relies solely on donations. The Season of Sharing is the October-December campaign that offers a series of fun events, connecting the expat community to those in need.

Punto Medio, a local news organization, called it striking that the breakfast was attended mainly by foreigners.

The nonprofit organization was founded by Dodge and Kimberly Davin-DeGraff, a California native who has lived in Mérida for 15 years. Most recently, their volunteers have opened a food bank and thrift shop in Itzimná, which supports various shelters.

“About five years ago I visited the La Divina Providencia shelter and I saw a real need,” Davin-DeGraff told Punto Medio. “They do not have enough food, they do not have soap or shampoo, and my heart was opened completely. As a Christian I saw brothers dying of hunger.”

From there, she gathered several volunteers from the foreign community to help the cause, first with a Facebook page and eventually with an official government-sanctioned charity.



YGO initially expected perhaps 125 guests for breakfast, but instead found 320 attendees, she said enthusiastically.

Among the associations that will benefit are Casa de los Abuelos de Ixil, Casa de los Abuelos de Sambulá and the Dining Room for Children in Uxcum.

Next up, a Chicas for Charity tournament at the Yucatan Polo Club is planned Saturday, Nov. 17. It will be the centerpiece of all the Season of Sharing Events.

With information from Punto Medio

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