Since December 2018, through the generous support of donors from throughout the United States and Canada I've helped support a local church in Tijuana who has transformed their entire building into a shelter for migrants. This support was primarily used to increase capacity at the shelter by building additional dignified housing and provide regular food deliveries of healthy food.
I am closing out 2019 by seeking to raise funds to continue that partnership throughout 2020 at $500 per month.
First we met immediate needs
In November and December 2018, with an emerging humanitarian crisis in Tijuana as about 6,000 people arrived to seek asylum in the United States, I coordinated efforts to bring immediate relief items to official and unofficial shelters that popped up in Tijuana to meet the need.
With an Amazon Wishlist and cash donations we did just that. People from all over sent us tents, tarps, toilet paper, diapers, feminine hygiene products, on and on. With cash donations we connected with doctors providing medical care and brought them the medicines they needed to treat thousands. One day a shelter told us about a need and the next day we delivered.
Next we focused on building a sustainable partnership with a local church
Through some friends I was connected to a church who has been hosting "guests" as they sought asylum in the United States. It started with a Haitian caravan and they've continued in this ministry of hospitality since then as wave after wave of people have come through.
In early 2019, we combined donations with the vast majority of what we collected in 2018 with Global Immersion's Borderlands Fund. That allowed us to get to work on improving the conditions at the church without several groups getting in one another's way. Together, we helped the church get the right equipment (commercial stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer, etc) and help provide funds to add a second story to the church building to expand capacity.
My continued role
Since January 2019, I've been asked to provide food items to the shelter. While the church members are able to provide much of the food for the families staying at the church, I'm asked to supplement this with a grocery run every 7-10 days.
Our goal isn't just to provide survival. We are committed to providing dignified conditions. With that in mind we try to provide high quality food! Each visit I bring about 100 pounds of fruits & vegetables as well as about 100 pounds of meat. (chicken, fish, beef)
This amounts to about $250 US for every 10 days to provide food for about 40 people.
The harsh reality
The money ran out in early June. Since June I've continued providing food through a combination of self-funding the project, asking my friends on social media, or asking our mission teams if they wanted to contribute.
And we've met the need. I've never said no. We just make it work.
But the harsh reality is that this simply isn't sustainable for me. I'm happy to give my time, each grocery run is 3-4 hours. And I'm happy to pay for the gas in my van.
But in order for this to continue throughout all of 2020 we need to raise some funds... the minimum need for the year is $6000, this would purchase two grocery runs per month. More would be great. But $6000 is the minimum to keep it going.
Where is this money going and how is it accounted for?
Super important question! All funds going through my missions partner, Praying Pelican Missions. I am accountable to them for these funds.
- Kevin Brangwynne
- Summer Holmes
- Brian Hughes
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