How We Got Started

Within each human being lives a simple desire to reach out to those who suffer. Unfortunately, finding the suffering is an easy task. The challenge lies in finding an avenue to channel our help.

For me, that avenue began four years ago with a phone call from a second-grade classmate in Colombia whom I had not seen in 45 years. My old friend talked of Colombian children who walked for hours through mountainous terrain in order to attend school, often without shoes or clothing. Outside my window in Winter Park, Florida, I could see only abundance. The idea for Amigos Unidos was born. I contacted some friends and the mission started. We currently provide shoes, clothing, and school supplies to 18 schools in Boyaca, Colombia, and have extended the mission to 3 other areas.

We are fortunate to have three wonderful contacts in Colombia with the same altruistic goals who care deeply for the needs of these impoverished communities: my friend and former classmate, Orfila Maldonado in Bogota, former Winter Park teacher Ricardo Gomez in Guapi, and Angela Talavera in Meta. These three work to ensure that our resources go directly to those in need and are distributed without regard to political or religious affiliation.

Amigos Unidos would like to express a special thanks to our major patron, Esther Phelps, who has continuously and unwaveringly provided her support.

-Mercy James, founder (2010)

Amigos Unidos is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created in Central Florida in 2006 to provide support to needy individuals (especially children, the elderly, and the mentally ill), domestically and internationally. Donations and fundraising support 100% of this charitable cause which is run entirely by volunteers.

Amigos Unidos is committed to helping people that are in need. The organization has been helping children in over a dozen countries worldwide, by donating clothing, shoes, school supplies, toys, and as well as focusing on clean water to help impoverished communities not just survive but thrive.

Additionally, it is also helping to meet some basic needs of the homeless community in Central Florida.