OUR STORY ---
In April of 2017, a group of creatives met at a coffee shop and spent the evening talking about all the mission work they had done in their lives. Fresh to this group was Steven Blanco, a 26 year-old photographer from Hyattsville, MD. He felt totally out of place because the most he had ever done before this meeting was give away his laptop to a student in need in a small town in El Salvador.
Later that week, Steven went to church and shared his experience with Daniel Pinto and Sujel Hasbun [WHO ARE THEY?]. Before he even got finished telling the story about the girl he had helped, Daniel interjected with, “Steven, you gave that girl a ‘Little Win.’” A Little Win can be compared to these moments: when you go get coffee and the barista spells your name properly, when you get an A on your test, or when a stranger gives you a really nice compliment. In Daniel’s words, a “Little Win” is something small that makes a huge impact on someone else.
At that moment, it clicked for Steven. He reflected on all the times in his life when he was faced with particularly difficult circumstances and remembered that even in his darkest times, it was always the small gestures of kindness from his family, friends and mentors that made the biggest impact on his morale. He jetted home and began calling all his friends that worked in photography, videography, graphic design, web design,
Positive star decided to join forces with one goal in mind; they wanted to find a way to help others with their many talents. The Little Wins Collective was formed with one mission in mind. The group wanted to make a difference of the lives of children in underdeveloped communities
He was inspired to help after visiting his family's home country for the first time in 17 years. For many years he had avoided visiting because of how negatively El Salvador was portrayed in the media.
Once he arrived he spent all of his time talking with locals and trying to connect with long lost family members. His adventure took him all over the country. By the end of his trip he had fallen in love with El Salvador’s breathtaking landscapes, beautiful beaches and most of all fell in love with all the amazing people he met. After returning home after an amazing trip Steven began to partner up with different organizations in Washington, DC and began to raise funds for the students that he met while on vacation. During this time Jennifer Cabrerra was 3,000 miles away in Guatemala having a similar
Before his trip came to an end he made one last stop, He visited his cousin that worked in an elementary school in the mountains. He found the school in rough shape and decided that something had to be done.. After spending the final days of his trip visiting with the children he knew that if came home and shared their stories with his friends and family they could come together to make an impact there.
Six months later he returned with a group of volunteers and delivered over $10,000 worth of school supplies to various area schools and low income areas through the countryside.
The Little Wins Project was a huge success because of the generosity of it’s donors.
“ Once I returned home, I knew that I had to do anything in my power not to return empty handed. All I wanted to see those kids smile and thanks to everyone who donated I got my wish. Their smiles are permanently engraved in my heart. - Steven Blanco