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Updated: Friday, 23 Nov 2012, 7:29 AM MST
Published : Friday, 23 Nov 2012, 7:29 AM MST
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Dozens of children hundreds of miles away from New Mexico are thankful for an Albuquerque group that helps them survive.
Friends of Rancho del Niños has made a world of difference in many kids' lives.
"We went to visit the orphanage, and it was in bad shape," Alex Salazar said. "I'm talking bad, bad shape."
Since 1986 friends of Rancho del Niños has raised funds for an orphanage in Empalme, Mexico. The home in the state of Sonora about 300 miles south of Tucson, Ariz., was in desperate need of help.
"Before they use to have these beds; termites eating the legs of the beds," Mike Montoya said.
The nonprofit group has completely changed the conditions for the nearly 30 kids who live there.
"Painting, plumbing, electric work, everything," Salazar said. "So right now we are up to date with it. They got their own water now. They used to bring it in by truck."
The orphanage has been run by nuns for the last 20 years, but it couldn't survive without Friends of Rancho del Niños, which also helps with clothing and feeding the children.
"That's the only hope they have," Montoya said. "We're the only ones that have been helping them. Other than that they get very little help."
The group visits twice a year and says the kids keep them coming back.
"It's your heart that takes you over there and helps these kids," Salazar said.
"The appreciation of the kids, they don't take anything for granted," Martin Sisneros added. "So everything we do, they thank you from the bottom of their hearts."
Friends of Rancho de Niños organized after meeting through church.
They raise money through bingo and fundraisers that also help give New Mexico kids scholarships and school supplies.
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