We Need More Than Prayer

Symbols of Valor


There is music that can help distract us from the stress and fears of life. So many great tunes for any occasion and every emotion. The world has always had suffering and hurt somewhere within it. For those who are softhearted and empathic with those that suffer it is difficult not to try to do something. Those that have the least to contribute are generally the ones that proportionally sacrifice the most . But when someone has given up all they can their final gift is that of prayer for others. For those of you that have lost your most precious gifts or are down to you’re last resource, prayer is always recommended but does not automatically refill your heart, wallet or physiological needs. While music maybe a temporary distraction before the hunger kicks in and the pain becomes unbearable a hot meal or a dollar bill works better.

Aside: There is a very negative view among too many Americans, that are apathetic about others in this condition, those being at their ropes end. Those folks suggesting, they are praying for someone, but it is just a cliché is of whom I speak. There is no real heart felt desire to actually pray or do anything at all to help. So, to cut to the chase, caring people do all they can to help and when they get to a point where there is nothing more that they can do they not only fervently pray but also reach out to others in their circle to partner with them to help people jointly.

The story of one “Davy Crockett” suggests that when he was a politician, he gave a speech which suggested that individuals can do all they can with their own resources to help folks but don’t take other people’s money, the taxpayers money, to do it”. It is very easy to give away other people’s money, he suggested, than it is to give away your own money”. That makes sense but then there is the term “Fiduciary”. Government has a channel for Americans to ask elected individuals to be their fiduciary and help people in need with tax dollars. There are laws for them to follow as well.

As to the government borrowing money with no real intention of paying it back is criminal. To do it under false pretenses is sinful. But if prayer is a just a cliché; than those spending their money for reasons that are not helping folks on their last leg I say it is sinful and indeed criminal. As a charity HPLA Charities relies on other people to help complete their mission. They exist off their partnership with donors. It has been made clear in all their posts that contributions are not wasted. Please know that contributions given by their sympathetic and loving donors are used to buy materials and repair parts. None goes to maintain a management team or paid staff. To suggest those who help them succeed in their mission have no skin in the game is wrong. HPLA relies on volunteers. These folks are ones that not only pray but also gift their skills, money and labor for the good of HPLA clients that are hurting. Donors become their partners.

Imagine Congress being a group of volunteers like HPLA that not only pray faithfully but donate their skills and their labor making them “fiduciaries” rather than “non-fiduciaries“. Elected officials may all start with good intentions, but it doesn’t take long to lose the mindset. Lobbyist will offer lots of temptation when they need a politician’s support for their greed/need. Who could resist having a home bought for their mother by another entity simply to vote yes or no? While good folks are just praying Satin’s workers are moving and shaking and using physical muscle to accomplish their mission. Money is readily available to them. The moral of the story here is that it requires more than just prayer to help those in need. Asking for spiritual help does help move people’s heart and no doubt encourages action. Action is what is being calling for. When a baby is drowning in the pool the first thing is not to pray, but to pull the baby out of the water. Yes, it makes sense that one can and should pray for strength to save the child but there is no time to wait for direction. “JUST DO IT”

At HPLA Charities they have tried to avoid showing the starving baby in a foreign land or one that is dying due to disease. It is not necessary to define people in need or picture someone dying. Each one of you can image pain or have seen it or even experienced it. You have seen death. There are families in our community and the communities around us that endure pain. They live in conditions that no one should have to live in. The pictures of immigrants living in tents or homeless communities built on the streets are seen every day. In the case of one community in Kansas City, Ks. some residents say they are happy with where they are and just simply want to be left alone. However, they beg on the street and hunt for food pantries to maintain the lifestyle. They will, being given the chance, accept a tiny home or sleep in a non-profits homeless shelter. Great efforts are being made to improve the existence of those folks. It is an insult to our country to see this carnage however. In this country there should be no one that goes hungry or does not have shelter. No one should have their heat turned off due to their inability to pay the bill. But every capable individual should have to contribute something to help others in return. HPLA has clients helping other clients when they are capable. The downside is most of their clients are not capable. Many are unable to move without help. Secondly most of these folks have contributed greatly to the community through the years, but the high cost of living has used up all their financial resources. Whom of you will be in the same situation one day?

In closing, please know that HPLA Charities is blessed with great volunteers and faithful contributors. Listen to your heart, listen to your favorite tunes, listen to the voice of GOD. The need is still there so HPLA Charities must ask for your donations to help a greater number of people and perpetuate the support of current clients. Be assured and know that HPLA Charities are fiduciaries.

As Memorial Day approaches, it is the wish of HPLA Charities for you to be careful, be safe and reflect on all those that have come before you. To sincerely pray for those that helped you along the way. Lastly to honor those who gave their life so we can have the security we so enjoy in America.

Please contribute if you can. Follow the link to www.hplacharities.org/donate


In Memory of those who served

Mercy Peace Grace

2023 & 7th Year Doing Good Works

There is arrogance, modesty and humility. Where would you place your self image or the person you think you are in these three choices? There are three views of an individual that need to be considered: One view is the person you think you are, Two the person another person thinks you are and three the person you really are. I would assume most people would find positive view of themselves. “I’m a good person”. “I try to be honest and sincere”. “I do unto others what I would want done to me”. You can come up with your own statement of who you think you are. It is unfortunate that in today’s world in the first meeting of any two people the person you think you are is not what the other person thinks you are.
In your travels I would guess you have run into thousands of people you read pretty right. Certain attributes lead you to a correct conclusion of a typical personality. Shy people are fairly easy to spot. So are type “A” over confident individuals. But the message here is assuming who someone is can only be confirmed by spending a lot of time listening to a person. By hearing their history and their interests etc.

After my first meeting with a new neighbor I liked him right away. I met his wife shortly thereafter and came to the same conclusion. These are great people and appear to be hard working honest people and more importantly taking good care of each other. Their Son, now 6 years old, was born shortly after our first meeting. Today they have moved to a new home away from us, but still remain close as we often exchange text messages, well wishes and on occasion a meal. I have not seen or heard anything that has changed my positive first impression view of them.
I have had many such encounters over the many years I have lived in this world. To pick a favorite person would be impossible, but one family often comes to mind and that is a Vietnamese family who come to the US as children during the Vietnam era we call the importation of the “boat people”. They are now very successful business owners and stayed in California where their family landed originally. That meeting was a bit different because it started as a business connection. I received tremendous respect and high regard from this family. Even from their children. They all assimilated well to America as did their children. It was easy for me to like them. There was nothing to dislike. They may have a different view of me that what I pray they have, but I have seen and felt only good vibrations from them.

First impressions are very deceiving and in many cases separate us form one and other without any need. In my line of work I have seen folks living in deplorable conditions. I have manage million dollars estates. In many cases there are sweet wonderful folks in both the rich and the poor. But its the sweet wonderful poor people that I strive to help more. Through HPLACharities.org/donate you van help too.

Breaking News-Another Tragedy

As we break into spring here in the mid-west what is paramount to those of us who care is the senseless lost of life. Its happening all over the world and to be sure it is not anything new. The fact that more media is available to point it out may well be the case. There are many paths to take for this subject. One may be the media itself is euphoric at pointing out death and destruction. The other side might suggest that no one is happy to hear of any others joy or happiness if they themselves are not happy. The end result is there are more folks that pay attention to seeing things worst then they are facing then to see things much better than they have it. But you are the only one who can examine yourself and place yourself. For me it becomes heartbreaking sadness that diverts my attention on the one hand and sincere joy & love for others that equally diverts my attention to good news.

So what is interesting in all of these breaking news stories is that it is an event happening now. Something new and exciting, whether good or bad and yet to be determined. Many events are captivating while others are not. The end result is to stay tuned or tune out. A few WOW moments for me have been the isolated rain showers that dump huge amounts of rain without warning. Attribute it to climate change or just natural occurrences I am moved by the danger they create and the responses of the community to over come them. Most recently I heard the Fort Lauderdale airport runways were under water. Having flown in and our of that airport many times it was shocking to see it in that condition. The same holds true for California, not only for the flooding but for the fires. Recently it was New Jersey having brush fires. Today Kansas prepares for fires.When does it end?

So now you have the opportunity to tune in or tune out. Another tragedy today for Kansas City Metro. A 63 year old Kansas City, Missouri man died in a crash in Kingman County, Ks early Thursday morning. Apparently the man was on foot, but in the middle of the highway non-the-less. The driver said that he struck the man as it was un unavoidable situation. So there is another segue to tragedy, avoidable or unavoidable. But to the point,there are good news and good times today also. The Kansas City Parks will turn on most fountains on Fountain Day Friday April 14, 2023. Of the 48 fountains there will be a very few that cannot be repaired or put back in service in time for the celebration but the majority will. For the city of Fountains that is an excuse to celebrate. “Friday Night in the Big Town” has become a crying call for Kansas City and there is much to celebrate. The huge event to help folks party is the “NFL Draft” which will take place in front of the iconic Union Train Station in Kansas City, Missouri as it has received so many “icons” in it’s life span. So pick and choose the news you want to see or hear and see if you tune in or tune out for the next paragraph.

Recently it is believed that a life was saved. Can it be proven or documented? No! There is however circumstantial evidence to suggest it could be true. You decide. At the first inspection of a homeowners property there was light fixtures dismantlement from there base and hanging lose from the ceiling and the walls. A burnt receptacle was uncovered and was without power. Lights in fixtures and power to outlets were not present. The 220V receptacle was hanging in the air next to the stove. The floor in the front room was caved in or collapsed. HPLA Charities took on the project and was assisted in many ways by other non-profits but the hazards real hazards were on HPLA. Aka Habitaciones Para Latinos Association, this non-profit has a mission to help low income homeowners with minor home repair. There has been many times where minor turns to major in a heartbeat. That was the case here. It took some time to come up with the resources and the client was able to find temporary housing. To date we are able to say he can move back in if he wants. He is still getting therapy from a surgery that removed a tumor from his brain. He is still needing some physical help but the house is livable and safe. New breakers, receptacles, wires and light fixtures replaced. Floor leveled. An element in the old stove may best be fixed with a reconditioned used stove. That project is still in the works.

So if you read to here you can decide if the post was one of tragedy or glee. You can decide whether baby steps like these from enough groups like ours can save a life. Whatever, the need is tremendous and the resources few. There are those who have to have the private jet and a multi-million dollar yacht. (One fill up of gas in either vehicle would provide months of help to those we serve and who need us). Within this site there is a place to contribute. http://www.hplacharities.org/donate It takes very little from you to prevent tragedy. One big gift could possibly safe a life, but at least provide some safety. Thank you for following us. Remember: we do not have a paid staff and no donations are used for any reason but to benefit the clients we serve or who will be coming to us for help.

May you be richly blessed by doing all you can with what you have for those you can help on your won. We can do it together or we can do it for you with your donations.

Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays

**Consider a Donation

Many of you are in the middle of writing your Christmas Letter and some are well passed that item on you’re to do list. I am envious of those of you that started you’re Christmas shopping earlier in the year and just have to wrap, tag. mail or set your gift under the tree. Over the years many others of you have had to wait until that before Christmas paycheck and decide what bills will go unpaid so you can fulfill your Child’s most wished for present.

The other thought that comes to mind is the other traditions which may arise at this time of year. There is Las Posadas Christmas tradition, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice/Yule, the Winter Sabbath, and of course Christmas and Kwanzaa. Whatever is your culture, faith or your tradition the thought is to be happy and thankful.

Hakuna Matata, it means no worries for the rest of your days as you know from the “Lion King”. It is wishful thinking but a thought we should all live with. To those who have no sympathy for the people who are hurting through no fault of their own this time of year and think it is a waste of time and resources, Humbug. For you It reduces the opportunity to be truly blessed. The blame for your attitude can go to the need of survival, corporate greed, the free market system or whatever but behind all of it is the need to get more at any cost. Sad!

So, while we have well educated and well-bred generations there are those that are not as fortunate and would have much rather been born with that silver spoon in their mouth. But, unfortunately that percentage of folks are shrinking and the number of less fortunate increasing at an astonishing rate. Nature suggests that it is the survival of the fittest, but who are the vultures of the human race who will feast on the flesh of one ravaged by cancer. No one!

This is a time of the year to be happy. A time to give! There is no use in worrying about how we can fix the world. It depends on who you decide you can help. The world will take care of itself if you and I help others.

For HPLA Charities our “fix” is to get every citizen in Wyandotte County, specifically Kansas City Kansas a safe and affordable place to live. A place where there is no threat of death due to lack of, heat, food or water. We recently published a well-known fact. Leaky toilets are silent thieves that steal your money. Climate change is real and water is precious or will become more so soon. It will become a threat to life. If you are not worried for yourself, somewhere not far away from you there is someone, something.

For those who are doing well and can spare a dollar please know we will insure a donation to us will go directly to help those most vulnerable. Even fixing toilets. Don’t hesitate to point out those you know need help and refer them to us. We cherish the Latino, Latinx residents that are in these dire conditions via Habitaciones Para Latinos Association.

HPLA Charities is open to anyone in need but we would like to focus on those in the poorest county and cities in Kansas. They are in our back yard.


Mail to:

HPLA Charities

6354 Stevenson St.

Shawnee, Kansas 66218

HPLA Charities 2022 Year End Donation Request

In so many ways 2022 has been a sad and heart breaking year. For me it has been the war in Ukraine as I hear of the life changing events that so many there have incurred. Picture yourself sitting and reading a book, having just had a good meal with family and working to get ready for bed. Your house is warm and the stress of life is manageable. Yet, in a split second a Russian missile explodes on impact on your neighborhood or apartment building sending your possessions flying everywhere. Your first thought is your family and their safety.  You locate each other and huddle for a plan as to what to do next. There may be smoke, fire, exterior walls gone exposing the outdoors.

Dear reader, you can make up your own scene and not be far wrong as to scenes faced by Ukrainians today. Think about it. What can be done to stop the carnage? In the US we have the greatest military on earth and it would only take minutes for our first responders and our protectors to pounce on the problem and most importantly to stop the breach if not having prevented it to start with. But when you not only don’t have the resources or the capability to stop the barrage it becomes terribly depressing to hear no one is coming to help. In the U.S. help does come, help for you and your family comes. In Ukraine the family not far from you was not so lucky. The help that arrives is of no use. The damage is done and all is lost. In our modern world, how is it that circumstances like this are allowed to happen. Think about it. What do you feel about those who willfully and intentionally decide to kill families?  

Recently, in Colorado Springs, a citizen was rewarded and decorated for subduing a person who willfully and intentionally decided to kill. There will always be individuals who have lost their mind or been brainwashed into thinking that killing another human is the right thing to do. The world is doing all it can to reach those folks and give them reasons not to kill. But it is a whole other story when one person cans convenience hundreds to kill thousands for no good reason. Military’s should be strictly for defense. They should not be used to force an idea onto another society, especially a peaceful society that has no skin in the game. That family in the area that was bombed in Ukraine had no skin in the game. They just wanted to work hard and sustain themselves. The family that was killed had the same agenda. But, it took just one person to convince hundreds that they should kill that family and many others. Destroy their ability to survive. Why?

Let’s look at your neighborhood and see all those who come and go without any skin in the game. They just want to work hard and sustain themselves. The threats are few and the safety great. If a threat arises citizens are willing to jump in and help. We are a civilized society living in a country whose residents want to just work hard and survive. Mother Nature may be our greatest enemy. But when necessary we take down the danger together as a group. We give money to restore lost resources. We volunteer to restore food & shelter. So if you have taken the time to read this far you are a special and caring person. You understand that you can manage only what you can manage, but the flip side is you can support others to manage circumstances beyond your control. While you are picturing the sadness of the Ukrainian population please know that there are poor people that are hurting, through no fault of their own, in our community. There are hundreds of stories and plenty of examples of folks just trying to work hard and sustain themselves. One quick example:

In KCK, Charles has been living in a home he acquired by working hard. He has lived in it for years but over the course of time little things that need to be repaired or maintained began to add up. A short in the electrical knocks out a circuit and to hire an electrician is beyond his ability pay. He lives without that circuit and compensates with extension cords or affordable options, some not always safe. As the years go by the cost of maintaining the house and catching up on all that goes wrong becomes overwhelming.  The foundation deteriorates and the floor partially collapses. The sconce lights on the wall come loose and no longer work due to loose wires. And the more that goes wrong the cost to catch up gets harder to save. Then the biggest fear happens and a brain tumor is discovered. Surgery will help Charles live and friends and family help all they can while he recovers. But in the end the bills drain all resources that were being saved to fix floors and electrical. The options to maintain his biggest asset are narrowing. If he can get a little help to keep him safe and alive then he has a chance to slowly work on restoring the very basics of the home and not have to live off the government and your tax dollar.

Society has created support systems to help Charles. Generous families dedicate money through grants and gifts. But in all cases it requires contributions from individuals to perpetuate the support. For HPLA Charities it is the Charles of the community which are the folks we find or they find us. We are a small overworked and under staffed home repair charity. We have no grants or funds except for your donations. Trained technicians are illusive and usually require some compensation, but we are blessed by some that don’t charge at all. Today skilled and licensed individuals need some compensation and we are forced to pay it. We work for those clients that society has considered expendable.  We do this without any paid staff. All the work necessary to operate the business is done by volunteers who sacrifice thousands of dollars in free labor to manage the mission. If you are receiving this letter it is because you have contributed in some way to our existence. What we need is to reload the accounts to buy building materials to do what we do in 2023.

We do electrical, plumbing, carpentry and paint. No! Donations are not used for anything else. Yes, we offer drinks and snacks to the volunteers while they work, but most take care of themselves. Your contributions go directly to help people in need. We help the elderly, the handicapped, the veteran, the folks that are living out their last years and want to live them out in their own home.

Finally, we need caring professionals to serve on our board and help to get grant money for what we do or raise funds for us. You will not be sorry. For now if you would give a one-time gift or as many of you do send us a monthly gift, our gratitude and prayers for your continued good health and blessing will go out every day.

You can do this securely via our website. Donations are collected and managed by PayPal. So please go to www.HPLACharities.org/donate and donate. God Bless You.

Happy Holidays,

Robert Flores Chairman

Habitaciones Para Latinos Association

aka HPLA Charities of Kansas City

A Time to be Thankful & A Time to Share

So much sadness. Death & taxes are unavoidable. Well, with exceptions. But I won’t go there. (large corporations).
I was reminded recently that if folks have a choice they would rather be sick & die at home then be tethered to an IV in the hospital. For some it is comforting to be at the hospital in the very last days of life just to stop the pain, but for those that are given a few weeks, months or years it is evident that home is where they want to be. I recently attended two funerals I can attest that home is where these two family members would have rather been. One thankfully was. The other fortunately was surrounded by family in the hospital.
At HPLA Charities we find In our daily routine many cases where folks can be at home but are just not able to take care of all the things required to maintain their house. Sometimes little things like changing a light bulb or replacing a battery in the smoke detector are daunting tasks. This is where HPLA Charities tries its best to help. Those tasks that allow folks to stay in their home in safety and security. Slow running drains, leaky faucets and toilets. Grab bars and hand rails.
But I know what your saying. “There are huge organizations financed by grants and have full time staffs to help. Yes, but call one today and ask when can they send someone out to replace a leaking faucet?” Using the 80/20 rule must replies will be “several weeks if not several months to send help.”
Some projects just need a temporary solution. Others a more permanent fix, but a cracked pipe due to the cold that is wasting water but causing no real damage differently ends up on the back burner. This is where HPLA shines. We try to get to the problem now. Sometimes it is just to turn off the water to that part of the house where the leak is. Something to help the owner from calling on a 24/7 plumbing company with a $250.00 minimum trip charge which they can’t afford. You get the message. Food, heat, lights or the plumber. HPLA does this for free. No charge to the client that qualifies. How can we do what we do? Through your donations. www.hplacharities.org/donate
With winter arriving it is essential we do all we can to keep folks from suffering. Call us Houspice! But help us! God Bless.

Humans Before Animals Just Don’t Forget the Animals

Humans Before Animals Just Don’t forget the Animals
HBAjDftA. With the many legitimate issues, we Americans are facing today it is understandable the need to abandon our furry friends. Like me many folks love dogs and have had bad experiences with cats, so we are not overly concerned. So, I am for helping a helpless dog more so than a helpless cat. Having said that I despise the neglect or cruelty of any living thing. Oh, I am not talking about the cruelty of chopping weeds or over growing grass in the yard, but you get my drift. Animal shelters are full and the feral cat populations growing rapidly. In my part of the world there is enough wildlife that overpopulation of wild animals stays in check. There are exceptions. My county has had to thin out some herds, mostly deer. Since the county dump is not far, we may need to look at thinning the vulture population too, just kidding.

Of course, I am writing on behalf of Habitaciones Para Latinos Association aka HPLA Charities. As the point person for the charity, I get notices of issues facing our community every day and human suffering of some fashion or another. Yes, we do have success stories. Today I am reminded of one Lady who we have helped for the last 6 years and who getting close to her nineties. She is still able to stay and keep her home. Another Lady however, in her Seventies, has had to move out of her home due to the high cost of maintenance combined with health issues. The tragedy and the point of this story is that we have animal shelters whose facilities are castles compared to the living conditions our low-income seniors and others are facing.

I was moved by a go-fund-me request that was sent to me by a close friend. I know this person well and feel the request was ligament. So, I sent an amount that I could afford to live without to help this cause. There are a couple of extra parts to the story but mainly it was a child that was involved. With all the charitable help there is for children with cancer the debt for the family had still risen astronomically high. I mentioned in a group meeting this morning the term democracy. That is a topic of debate today but what would happen if we voted as a nation to what was most important, prioritize the result and went about insuring and financing the will of the voter. With so many differences of opinion could we make everybody happy? The answer is of course No. Worst yet could we all agree on what the number one priority would be. I look forward to your comments on that one. God is a given.

If and when we ever got to the question of human life verses animal life, there would be a battle on the inability for the animals to vote. Could they vote by default and get a yes vote for putting animals first? I say Yes. However, animals would have the most votes and all us humans would become expendable. I don’t mean to get too far out there. Maybe it is to late already. But the compromise has to be “balance” And while animals would never be able to keep us alive, we humans can keep the animals alive and in balance.

So, lets drill down to just us humans keeping each other alive and keep the animal population in balance. Thin the herds. Should any animal have better resources to survive than the weakest of human. I’d say No! So how can a dog/animal without its basic physiological need come ahead of a human being? Balance? So, we have proportionality the same number of humans hurting as we do animals. I would argue that the animals have us by 10-fold, in their favor today. We are taking better care of animals than we do humans. I would dare say that the monies that many of the human help charities that have grants or donations to bring balance are being operated by overpaid directors while people are being chained to their cost to pay for their basic physiological needs and not getting enough support.

If you are concerned about paying for free college for other people’s children or the cost of green energy to save the earth. Consider your cost to keep human being alive without Social Security, Medicare or Welfare. So, if you read to this point, I know I am preaching to the choir. However, please pass the word around. HPLA Charities has no paid staff, so all donations go to provide support to low-income homeowners with home repairs. We want to provide as nice of a home to all in our community as animals have in most shelters. Please hug your most cherished human and then your pet, please donate as you can afford to do without. www.hplacharities.org/donate

God Bless.

There Will Never Again Be Peace

I would hope that this title would never hold true. Unfortunately it appears that it could hold true for the rest of eternity. What will it take to bring eternal peace throughout the world? It appears there are some very ligament reasons for people to rebel, even Nations to do like wise. So what are your reasons for excusing this UN-peaceful time. Why is Ukraine so essential to the survival of Russia. Is it its resources, its people, its geological placement on the earth or does greed enter into the picture. I can not answer the question. Maybe you can. Like belly buttons every blood breathing mammal has an opinion. But to get to the bottom line is a very difficult and slippery slope because the motives are not always good. In most cases the motives are terrible. The interesting and educational advantage is to figure it out. Hopefully there will be a final authority who can confirm the truth and help us get to a time of peace.

I was raised in an urban environment at an age when things were more peaceful and serene than today. Non the less there was still violence and danger. There was pockets in the city that were more dangerous to enter than others. These were the 1940’s & 50’s. Transportation was easily accessible and the middle class had a good life. Resources for entertaining the youth were readily available. For me it was the Boy’s Club. “No girls allowed”. The programs offered many opportunities to learn but more so to play. At 25 cents a month/year, I don’t remember, it was a great way to spend the money you earned mowing lawns. At age eleven I was earning one dollar a day and could afford a blue plate special for lunch. Non Motorized machines remember. The latest craze was “Squirt” that you opened with a ice pick hole through the cap. Besides all the popular brands of the day Coke, RC Cola, Hires Root Beer, Dr. Pepper the local multi-flavored choice was HIPPO brand. I remember the bottles being bigger than the stand size. Just about any flavor you wanted was offered. Strawberry, grape, pineapple, etc. Always looking for a deal, right? The bigger the bottle the better. I always brag about a couple of things that made life less stressful in my city. A tremendous public transportation system and one of the greatest parks and recreation programs in the state. In the late 50’s with a student pass you could go from one end of town to the other for a dime. If you needed to go a different direction once your bus got to the core part of the city a 1 cent transfer would take you to any other corner of the city. For me school was a 10 cent bus ride and 100 yard walk to my first class. No need to transfer. I could leave my bus stop, 25 yards from my front porch, at 8:00 AM and easily be on time for my first class at 8:30 AM. Transportation routes ran like clock work. Those were happy times. Disagreements were solved with a fist fight and seldom was there any blood shed. Everyone knew the bullies and grouped together to deter there deviant behavior. The school teachers & custodial staff was as quick to intervene and whip some shenanigan creating butt as fast as your own Mom or Dad. The rowdy and troublemakers were well known. The good kids generally avoided any contact with them.

In the summer the neighborhood park had a stone building full of equipment surrounded by all the amenities. Basketball courts, tennis courts, softball and football fields, Inside there was table tennis, bad-mitten, pool tables and a place to do crafts. There were some costs involved for materials but not very much. Oh yes, the vending machines. Those were a real favorite as most kids spent most all day there while Mom & Dad worked. At my house Mom took in ironing and went out to do neighbors housekeeping and washing. We got called on to cut the grass and earn 50 cents at time. Then it was back to the park. The Parks & Rec department would hire college students who were studying physical education and I have to confess most of the gals were gorgeous. Sock hops were a treat and a chance to ask the coach for a dance. But the competitiveness was there and at times we visited other parks and sometimes they came to us. At around age 12, or so, I was feared as an opponent at ping pong. Ha! We were all well supervised and disagreements settled quickly. Worst case, and very seldom a knife might be brought out. Not for long though as weapons were used by chickens rather than real men and that person was ostracized by the majority pretty quick. It was no fun to not get picked in a game of basketball or softball. Those kinds of actions took you out of the in-crowd. This was post World War II. A time of peace and the world at peace. What started the up-evil? I am sure there are scholars out there that can tell me. But what I see today is depressing as well as frighting. Assault rifles are a status symbol and taking a life gets you initiated into a militia. There is no rule of law and the peacemakers are fearful of the bad actors. We are held prisoner by social norms that don’t seek peace. It appears that the world is coming to an end and the only survivors will be the super rich and all others will be sacrificed. I know there will always be a pecking order but when all the so called undesirables are dispatched will that leave you at the top, middle or the bottom of the pecking order? Will you become the next undesirable? Ignorance is bliss.

I pray as you ponder these thoughts and as you offer your own opinion that you are reminded without taking care of those at the bottom of the pecking order now; the next generation will not take care of them and more likely you will be the one at the bottom begging.


The Latino United Way


Latinos Working Together

The Latino Culture is indeed diversified. Depending on who you talk to, that identifies as Latino, many would rather identify as Spanish, Hispanic, Latino, Tex-Mex, Chicano, etc. Quoting from the Pew Research article by Ana Gonzalez-Barrera. “The terms Hispanics in the United States, used to describe themselves, can provide a direct look at how they view their identity and how the strength of immigrant ties influences the ways they see themselves. About half of Hispanic adults say they most often describe themselves by their family’s country of origin or heritage, using terms such as Mexican, Cuban, Puerto- Rican or Salvadoran, while another 39% most often describe themselves as “Hispanic” or “Latino,” the pan-ethnic terms used most often to describe this group in the U.S”.

Aside: In a brief history lesson Spain explored the world as much as any country. Trade routes and seafaring is know to have begun millenniums before the “age of discovery” or aka “the age of exploration”. These are loosely defined terms for early modern period overlapping with “Age of Sail.” From the 15th to the 17th century, in European History, seafaring Europeans explored regions around the world. The Portuguese invention of the “Caravel” was very maneuverable and able to undertake ocean voyages. It became essential to European maritime exploration. The Spain Ship, Nao Victoria, managed to carry out the first circumnavigation in history. The extensive overseas exploration, with the Portuguese and the Spanish at the forefront, later joined by the Dutch the English and the French, emerged as a powerful factor in European culture, most notably the European encounter and colonization of the the Americas. It also marks an increased adoption of colonialism as a government policy in several European states. As such, it is sometimes synonymous with the first wave of European colonization.

Why is it important to know who brought us to where we are today. In my research it depends on how far back you go and in what part of the world you choose. You can go back millions of years if you wish, but just know that there has been cooperation and partnering among cultures to determine where we are and who we are as earthlings today. This site is dedicated to encourage the Latin based people of the earth to take their rightful place in creation of our current society. Do you see it as a good or bad? Whichever side you take be sure to always keep in mind its your fault we are where we are. Respectfully, “I am not my brothers keeper.” So what you say or do is all on you. You may feel yourself held captive by your environment, but in the US you are free to do what you want as long as you are not hurting yourself or anyone else. Today also you can be who you want to be and go where you want to go. An example is in the foods of the restaurants serving Latino foods. They have, themselves, become very diverse due to the peoples tastes and individuality. For those of us who have been around for awhile, to visit a Mexican restaurant in the US was to order rice and beans, tacos with ground beef, enchiladas, Chile Relleno, or Sopapillas. Of course this is a short list but maybe the most popular items on that menu. Not only has the menus changed in the traditional Mexican Restaurant but restaurants from every other Latin based culture cater to their own. Cuban, Salvadorean, Honduran, Venezuelan, Colombian, Original Mexican from Old Mexico and Spanish to name some. Ropa Vieja, Papusas, Baleadas, Pan de Jamon, Arepa, Chile en Nogada or Pozole and finally from Spain the popular Paella. There are of course many other popular dishes from these countries but for this US born and raised American my family enjoyed Menudo. Food and drinks together are a great way to get acquainted and learn the strength that an individual brings to our society.

As an member in the League of United American Citizens Council in Kansas City Metro #11085 or specifically based in Shawnee Mission, Kansas it is our mission to perpetuate the mission of our National Organization. We have our on local mission but the goal is basically the same. To bring the Hispanic/Latino population together and to support the efforts that are being made by all organizations to promote the unique value this culture brings to the city. With our similarities of the language and the history of the roots that bonds us together it is exhilarating to see us united. There is a movement to divide and create a wider gap between Americans today and it will be essential for us to be the peace-makers and mediators between the left and the right. Our culture has every right to take either side but the side that is working toward unity and peace is the side we should follow. Each side has its extremist and those will be the ones that will hurt the cause. “Together we stand and united we fall.” The Hispanic/Latino cultures must be the one that comes together first as our population is grows quickly and ever so strong.

The Latin demeanor leans towards a society of loving, hard working and peaceful Americans. Don’t let skin color sway you as the Hispanic/Latino is made up of multi-cultural groups which cover the entire color spectrum. 25% of Hispanic/Latinos surveyed said they had been discriminated by other Hispanic/Latinos. I have family member that abhors the illegals sneaking into our country and other members who cherish them and their efforts. The series “Naked & Afraid” doesn’t hold a candle to what some of these folks do to survive. In spite of what you are being bombarded with, by the media, the largest percentage of these folks are coming for safety and survival. A better life. These folks don’t want to do illegal things but are forced many times to do what ever is necessary to reach their final destination. There is the issue of rape and to that I have no patience. But whether a woman gets raped or gives it freely to get where she wants to be it all starts with the animalistic human nature of mans innate need to plant their seed. It is my understanding that there is no better place to do that accept in a women. Most times its a two way street but definitely not always. Prostitution is the worlds oldest profession for a reason. Somethings will never change and today men are as valuable as women in the trade. I remind my family that most of us are off spring of migrant workers of the harvest, herders or laborers from Mexico.

Be that as it may in the grand scheme whether locally or globally; the evildoers are a minority. Among the Latin based cultures the same holds true. We, however must rally together. I won’t get into the ulterior motives of the folks who financed the anthropologist who perpetuated the population of North America, but it is my contention that greed may have had something to do with it. I also believe it was suppose to be done in a peaceful manner. Yes, I may be smoking something but in reality I quite over twenty years ago. The wave that came in 1492 and beyond may have lost their compassion for peace as they were trespassing and like you and me folks defend their turf. In the case of the pilgrims they were able to attain peace with incentives but none the less confiscated territory by force. We have to get to a point whereby we don’t allow anyone to take territory by force or use unfair tactics to overtake it. The capitalist way is for the majority of the citizenry to be convinced to vote for the good of all people and together to do that. But we all know inside trading is God.

We are Habitaciones Para Latinos Association aka HPLA Charities and our motive is to help those left for dead. For those that worked hard all their lives and have used up all saving, assets and ability to work. For those who still own a home or are paying for it and can not afford to keep it in good repair we assist. We do so without charge, deposits or promises from our clients. Can we do it all? Can we help everybody? No, but that is our mission and that is goal. You can help us. Your money along with our volunteers and their financial contributions we can made great progress for life and for peace. God Bless


Apathy Caused by Abuse

From my view, of the land, it appears that no one seems to care much about anything going on. If it should or shouldn’t be happening at all is a non issue as long as it doesn’t impact them. Maybe you see it also. Why do you think that is? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. You may disagree completely with my view. Yes, I expect that to be the case. Some of you will disagree for very legitimate and respectable reasons. Some not so much. It is funny how in talking to my daughters about a trip we made or an event we attended, when they were young, the view from each seemed to be quite different. In many cases very different. What happened, who was there, the time of day or the time of year etc. So the question is how can we see all things the same way. You know we can’t. But back to the subject; why is everything so troubling in the world even though for us Americans we are recovering very well from a very serious health issue. There is still much to be sad about and even plenty to worry about. There were hundreds of thousands of friends and family that died through the pandemic. Millions if you count all those around the world. But once those folks passed, in my eyes, they walked into an eternity with no pain, no worry no looking back. We can be happy for them.

You cannot view this world from afar and not be very fearful of what is happening, The promise is an eternal life of everlasting peace. It is a great feeling to know when you take your last breath here on this earth you will not see or hear the crying or the grief of those who loved you and were left behind. I am personally at peace with those that have died. They are in a better place and the grief is to survive ourselves. But, why the apathy? Has the value of living and gaining wealth and power become unimportant to the general public. I think we have reached a point where we have finally realized that working day and night for the sake of notoriety or wealth is not worth it? I sense that may be the case because normal life has been exposed. The general public has woke up to the reality of life on this earth. Let’s look at that briefly. Let’s also set religion and a life everlasting after death aside. Let’s look at life the way the average American would experience it. The average American family earns $74,000.00 for the sake of this conversation. That puts the medium wage at approximately $54,000.00 in 2022. The down side is that the cost of living has skyrocketed and especially with what is going on in the world today it will continue to raise. For years I have been trying to nail down the minimum cost for a family of four to live. Per Google the average cost for a family of four to live is $85,000.00 per year give or take. Wow, that is quite a difference. So where do you cut back to stay out of bankruptcy. Where ever that is; the damage to our life and lifestyle will be impacted dramatically. Folks have seen the corruption and greed in America. The rich get richer at our expense, thus the implied abuse. Does life and death enter into this scenario? Does the feeling of being used? Yes it does.

If you are reading this post and have read this far I hope you will have noticed that it is written to the audience, followers and interested parties of HPLA Charities. The acronym is for Habitaciones Para Latinos Association. It is an organization created to help low income home owners with free home repairs. Yes, our clients own their home or are paying a mortgage to own the property. Under today’s economic condition a way to cut cost is to minimize the use of utilities. Reduce the temperature to heat the house or increase it if air conditioning is installed. Secondly the type and cost for food is another area where folks try to conserve. For HPLA what we see is the dismissal of a leaky faucets, not replacing light bulbs, running toilets, no effort to keep up with the yard, the exterior or especially the interior of the home from decaying. We see rodent, insect infestations and cleaning in many ways ignored. One of the most tragic of home repair issues is stopped up drains and sewer systems. Old rusted and leaking lead pipes. So the answer is simple, either as homeowner you earn enough money to maintain all your home or rely on someone to pick up the missing pieces. For those that have no choice but to have someone pick up the missing pieces, HPLA is there.

In closing I want to give just one quick example of whom I speak. Mrs. R recently lost her husband. Each in their second marriage that lasted 35 years. Mrs. R is in her eighties. The home is old and in need of repair, but paid for and functional. They jointly worked hard to have what they had. But as things wear so do systems in the home and in her case the hot water heater started leaking due to years of use. It was causing water to build up in the basement although a floor drain was functional it was wasting water thus adding to her bill. The cost for a new hot water heater $800.00 and installation supplies another $50.00. Installation labor $250.00. HPLA Picked up the cost of the entire project. In doing the project it was noticed that getting into the basement required a rather precarious trek down the stairs as no hand rails were ever installed. To further improve the better welfare of Ms. R or her liability for anyone getting hurt going down the stairs handrails were added. You our contributors paid for all the work and HPLA provided all the labor without using any of your donations. In a parallel project to repair sagging cutters on a home HPLA did pay for discounted labor as volunteer support was not readily available and a handy man company was. The roof and foundation further damaging the foundation and allowing water to enter the basement. That project is still ongoing. Although the price was discounted it was still incurred. However no salaries or operating cost are paid for from donations for HPLA Staff. We look forward to a sponsor to help us with that as our current sponsor is reducing their donations by necessity. We need a paid staff to keep up with all that goes into helping folks in need. (One case manager and an administrative manager).

Can you spare a dime? Small amounts are the backbone of our non-profit. The large donations help with bigger and more extensive projects. But those of us that volunteer are the foundation. Apathy has minimized those willing to help. They have much to worry about for their own survival. It is the ones that have the least that give the most.

Thank you HPLA supporters for what ever you give or feel led to give. we are very grateful.

For secure processing of your contributions donations are processed by PayPal when given via www,hplacharities.org/donate

Bob Flores Chairman