It is the morning of a Wednesday in October.  The cloudy sky of Quito announces the beginning of the rainy season.  At the north of the city, over the Panamericana Avenue, the noise of the cars passing by forces you to look down.  We enter a hardware store:  it is wide and spacious, in its background, behind some big machinery, there is the counter.  The air smells like industrial, the sound of metals and drills stifle the voices of the people.  But there we find the essence of humanity:  the blind solidarity, the love for one another, even if this love is to a stranger.  Esteban Castillo, together with his brother, are at the helm of Castillo Brothers, the company his grandfather founded 75 years ago.  Esteban joined the 45,000 friends of UNICEF Ecuador that every month give a monetary contribution so that this organization can continue improving the lives of children and adolescents in Ecuador and the world.

Giving is also being thankful for the present and the past.  For Esteban, giving monthly is a way to give back the generosity that he has received:  “I think it is important reciprocate to society what I have received; in an organized manner.  I do not agree on giving away money on the streets, because all types of exploitation, especially towards children”.

1998 was the first year a person decided to economically support UNICEF Ecuador.  This first Friend of Children is still part of this net that has multiplied ever since.  Like them, Esteban Castillo also decided to support children with his contribution.  His reason? “Children are my priority to help.  They still have the time to have the same opportunities in health and education and that will allow them to have the same job opportunities in the future”.

It is not easy to reach those in need with what is most needed.  Aware of this situation, Esteban chose UNICEF Ecuador as the intermediary between him and the children:  “For me it was important to establish this solidarity with whom need it the most, in an organized manner.  What a better option that doing it through UNICEF, the most respected and serious organization working for children in the whole world.  Additionally, it supports the people willing to help”.

“The biggest support we can give to children will always be small.  UNICEF is the organization in charge of channeling this support in an organized manner, prioritizing among who could need it the most.  Those of us who feel the moral obligation to reciprocate to society part of what we received, should do it through UNICEF, that in addition offers al facilities and security.  We know that funds collected will be properly used with children, that, although may sound cliché, are our future” says Esteban, who has to go back to his daily labors and keep tightening the bolts that hold the legacy of his grandfather.