Osmar is one of five siblings. Today his household consists of his mother, two adult siblings, two young siblings, Osmar and his nephew, Liam. His two oldest, adult siblings were born in Mexico and traveled to the United States at one and eight years old. Only one of them was old enough to remember any life outside of Skagit County.
Carved in each child’s memory, however, is when their father, an agricultural worker, was deported in 2012. At that time, Osmar’s mother became the single head of a six-person household that had just lost more than half its income. Meeting basic needs became a struggle. Their poverty, compounded by a lack of documentation, forced them into an unsteady life in the shadows of our society. Osmar felt hopeless and found it difficult to concentrate in class. He fell behind and started getting in trouble.
Back in Mexico, his father started a new life and family. Osmar’s despair worsened. He disconnected from his school community and was expelled. He struggled with thoughts of suicide.
Today, Osmar focuses on one day at a time. He is again attending school and doing better. However, his younger brother is struggling with severe depression and getting in trouble. Osmar is telling his own story to get help for his younger brother.
Osmar’s mom has supported her family by working when she could, generally long hours doing repetitive, physical labor in agriculture. She became injured. With an untreated ankle injury, she continues to support her children and grandchild with trips to the food bank and by making enormous batches of tamales purchased by friends, family and the school community. Thank you so much to those who have facilitated the sales and purchased tamales. Please know that you have been a crucial financial life-line for the family.
What else can we do? Please join me in sponsoring my neighbors with support of their basic needs for three months, $3,000 for medical expenses and/or $7,000 for a retainer with an immigration attorney so that the three adults supporting the children can receive documentation and legally work. These funds will give Osmar’s mother the resources to treat and heal her ankle injury. They will also enable her to provide transportation and participate in counseling as her youngest child struggles with depression.
A donation of $75 could help Osmar’s mom secure cell phone service for a month; $50 will provide gasoline for a week; $25 covers two weeks’ worth of diapers. Larger donations will help with medical and counseling costs, but may also secure a long term solution. Legal fees collected will help this family with documentation so that they can function and feel safe in our community while providing HOPE and basic necessities for the children. Any small amount of money is graciously accepted as a gesture of love and support!
Household rent/bills $1,500 X3 months = $4,500
Transportation $250 X3 months = $750
Medical expenses $3,000
Legal fees $7,000
* Athletic shoes, equipment and fees for the youngest sibling to join a sports team.
I would like to honor this family as an integral part of our community. Our rural, Skagit economy has been built on the efforts of these humble families. For generations, they have come to work the land, harvest, and feed us! Today, they are our neighbors, our classmates, our clients, our local business owners, our educators, our healthcare workers, our family and our friends. Their children are our children. These are Skagit County kids.
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