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Palomas 2020/2021

In May 2019 our UU congregation began supporting the Deming NM shelter for asylum seekers on their way to sponsors. We were a collection site for our county. With those donations we packed food travel bags (GoBags) as well as sent clothing, medical supplies and food for the shelter. All of that ceased in fall 2019 when the border was “shut,” and the Remain in Mexico (MPP) was strictly enforced.

In June 2020 we reactivated our UU Social Justice work to support the migrant shelter, Tierra del Oro, in Palomas, Mexico, 2 hours south of Silver City. What started as a small shelter for asylum seekers waiting to head north, became a transit stop that ICE and the Border Patrol use to expel dozens of detainees every day. These guests at the shelter may only stay 1 or 2 days but most are in dire need of food, sleep and first aid before they decide where to go next. At our UU building we have a weekly collection of supplies for the shelter every Wednesday afternoon. These supplies are transported to Deming, NM and then sent across the border by officially sanctioned individuals.

In February 2021 we began, once again, to pack GoBags in anticipation of the Deming shelter re-opening for asylum seekers once Title 42 (preventing anyone from entering the US due to COVID 19) eases. We continue to pack at least 200 bags a week as well as continue to supply the shelter in Palomas. What we are able to do is dependent on donations from our wider community, both locally and nationally.

Our role will evolve as border policies evolve. You can read below the last three weekly posts with updated information on Palomas and Deming, as well as the current needs for the migrants and asylees. If you would like to personally receive these posts, contact Barbara Gabioud at bgabioud@gmail.com.

Additional note to our UU listserv: If you would like to help us on a collection Wednesday or be a driver to Deming, please let me know.  The generosity of our community will warm your heart. 

Note:  Driven by the hope for a better future, many migrants who are being expelled from the US will continue to try to re-enter, regardless of the dangers and hardships they face.

11/24/2021

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US but the residents at the Palomas Mexico shelter will also be eating turkey and holiday side dishes thanks to a generous Silver City donor. I was curious about how the turkeys would be cooked…turns out The Pink Store in Palomas is taking care of that! Let’s hope their turkey next year will be cooked in the US in their own homes.

I also want to thank everyone who has been participating with us in the past two and a half years; even through COVID. I asked you all a few weeks back about your communities and religious affiliations. Last week I presented the history of our project to our fellowship and I wanted to know more about “us.” We have packed close to 13,000 GoBags and had donations from at least 28 states and a few foreign countries! And in just Grant County more than 13 religious groups have had participants. Even more interesting to me was how many responded with “no religious affiliation.” Kindness truly comes from the heart in all of us.

Next Wednesday, December 1st, is a collection day! With only 2 collections before CHRISTMAS, in addition to the supplies below, we want to make the holiday special for families. There is some movement out of the shelter but I have some specific children at this moment who can be “adopted" to buy a gift for. Let me know by responding to this email, if you would like to take this on and for which specific child. Hopefully, we can get them all covered. Boys: 3 months, 2 years, 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 11,15. Girls: 1 year, 3, 4, 6, 13,14,14. Please wrap them in gift bags with a tag for which child. The kids could also use shoes; so think teenagers and approximate sizes.

The artificial tree and ornaments we sent down last year are no longer there. Once they go into the shelter we have no control over their future. The picture below is all that’s left from last year So we could use another tree (reply to me if you have one); and a few ornaments. And...small stocking stuffer treats. Some extra candy/treats would also be welcomed by Grupo Beta to hand out with GoBags this month.

I know that’s a lot; but together we can make it happen!

The 200 GoBags of food we pack each week include (red =most needed this week): CRACKER PACKS, 16 OZ BOTTLES OF WATER, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES. We also need 1 GALLON ZIPLOCK BAGS for packing them.

Medical needs: ALLERGY AND COLD MEDICINES, ROLLS OF GAUZE AND GAUZE PADS, POVIDONE IODINE SWABSTICKS, TYLENOL FOR CHILDREN, IBUPROFEN and INDIVIDUAL PACKETS OF ELECTROLYTES.

Needs for the youngest asylum seekers include: DIAPERS sizes 3-6, BABY WIPES, DIAPER CREAM, FORMULA ( SMALL CANS) SIMILAC or NIDO, BABY BOTTLES, COLD WEATHER BABY/KID CLOTHES NB TO SIZE 4, BABY/KID SHOES UP TO SIZE 4

Additional Food: CUP-OF-NOODLES

Clothing: for women and men JEANS, SWEATSHIRTS, SWEATPANTS AND SHOES in small sizes and long SHOELACES.

We collect donations on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, 3:00-3:30, at the UUFSC building, 3845 N Swan (not our mailing address) in Silver City. You can drive straight down on either side of our collection vehicles. We will get you unloaded and then you can drive out easily. If you are bringing any of the above GoBag items, please let the crew unloading your car know about them. We will put them inside for packing rather than send them to Deming to be transferred to Palomas. PLEASE WEAR A MASK.

To contribute financially you may mail checks made out to UUFSC (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City) with Border in the memo line to UUFSC, PO Box 4034, Silver City, NM 88062. Thank you ~ Barbara


UUFSC Palomas photo

11/10/2021

I am purposely writing this on Wednesday rather than Sunday. I think it will be less confusing for people. Collection days are 1st and 3rd Wednesdays; and emails will now only be on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. On 5th Wednesdays, we all get a break

Probably you all know that this week the border opened up for non-essential travel. That is good for everyone as long as COVID protocols are observed. Maybe now that this step has been taken we will see some movement on MPP and T42. I know I’ve said that more than once before but we have to stay optimistic…

I’m going to pull a Heather Cox Richardson and include a photo of my last okra blossom this year.

The weather continues to get colder so the residents in the Palomas shelter are needing warmer clothing, specifically SWEATPANTS AND SWEATSHIRTS for men, women and young children. Also, WARM BLANKETS.

Next Wednesday, November 17th, is a collection day!

The 200 GoBags of food we pack each week include: CRACKER PACKS, 16 OZ BOTTLES OF WATER, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES. We also need 1 GALLON ZIPLOCK BAGS for packing them.

Hygiene bags are being given out along with our GoBags and need travel size SOAPS, DEODORANTS, RAZORS, SHAMPOO, FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS, TOOTHPASTES AND TOOTHBRUSHES.

Medical needs: ALLERGY AND COLD MEDICINES, ROLLS OF GAUZE AND GAUZE PADS, POVIDONE IODINE SWABSTICKS, TYLENOL FOR CHILDREN, IBUPROFEN and INDIVIDUAL PACKETS OF ELECTROLYTES.

More recent needs for the youngest asylum seekers include: DIAPERS sizes 3-6, BABY WIPES, DIAPER CREAM, FORMULA ( SMALL CANS) SIMILAC or NIDO, BABY BOTTLES, COLD WEATHER BABY/KID CLOTHES NB TO SIZE 4, BABY/KID SHOES UP TO SIZE 4

Additional Food: CUP-OF-NOODLES

Clothing: MEN’S JEANS, SHIRTS AND SHOES in small sizes are the most needed clothing items at this time. And long SHOELACES.

We collect donations on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, 3:00-3:30, at the UUFSC building, 3845 N Swan (not our mailing address) in Silver City. You can drive straight down on either side of our collection vehicles. We will get you unloaded and then you can drive out easily. If you are bringing any of the above GoBag items, please let the crew unloading your car know about them. We will put them inside for packing rather than send them to Deming to be transferred to Palomas. PLEASE WEAR A MASK.

To contribute financially you may mail checks made out to UUFSC (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City) with Border in the memo line to UUFSC, PO Box 4034, Silver City, NM 88062. Thank you ~ Barbara


UUFSC Palomas photo

10/31/2021

Thank you to everyone who responded to my query last week about how wide a community our project includes. And to those of you who have yet to reply, here it is again; …if you have participated or donated, please reply to me with your congregation/denomination, and community, so I can more accurately describe us. And remember that NONE is a very acceptable response to congregation/denomination.

On Friday Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a second attempt to end MPP (Remain in Mexico) while simultaneously reaffirming a commitment to reinstate it under court order. If that sounds confusing you have it exactly right. The US is still waiting to hear whether Mexico will even accept MPP migrants back into Mexico. Stay tuned…

The weather is getting colder so the residents in the Palomas shelter are needing warmer clothing, specifically SWEATPANTS AND SWEATSHIRTS for men, women and young children. Last count I had was 59 folks. Sandra was able to visit yesterday and helped to celebrate the November birthdays coming up. It’s amazing what magic cupcakes and balloons hold. See below.

This Wednesday, November 3rd, IS a collection day!

The 200 GoBags of food we pack each week include: CRACKER PACKS, 16 OZ BOTTLES OF WATER, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES. We also need 1 GALLON ZIPLOCK BAGS for packing them.

Hygiene bags are being given out along with our GoBags and need travel size SOAPS, DEODORANTS, RAZORS, SHAMPOO, FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS, TOOTHPASTES AND TOOTHBRUSHES.

Medical needs: ALLERGY AND COLD MEDICINES, ROLLS OF GAUZE AND GAUZE PADS, POVIDONE IODINE SWABSTICKS, TYLENOL FOR CHILDREN, IBUPROFEN and INDIVIDUAL PACKETS OF ELECTROLYTES.

More recent needs for the youngest asylum seekers include: DIAPERS sizes 3-6, BABY WIPES, DIAPER CREAM, FORMULA (SMALL CANS) SIMILAC or NIDO, BABY BOTTLES, COLD WEATHER BABY/KID CLOTHES NB TO SIZE 4, BABY/KID SHOES UP TO SIZE 4

Additional Food: CUP-OF-NOODLES

Clothing: MEN’S JEANS, SHIRTS AND SHOES in small sizes are the most needed clothing items at this time. And long SHOELACES.

Other supplies: SCISSORS AND ELECTRIC RAZORS FOR HAIRCUTS.

We collect donations on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, 3:00-3:30, at the UUFSC building, 3845 N Swan (not our mailing address) in Silver City. You can drive straight down on either side of our collection vehicles. We will get you unloaded and then you can drive out easily. If you are bringing any of the above GoBag items, please let the crew unloading your car know about them. We will put them inside for packing rather than send them to Deming to be transferred to Palomas. PLEASE WEAR A MASK.

To contribute financially you may mail checks made out to UUFSC (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City) with Border in the memo line to UUFSC, PO Box 4034, Silver City, NM 88062. Thank you ~ Barbara

UUFSC Palomas photo




 https://www.borderreport.com/hot-topics/immigration/border-towns-struggle-with-the-thousands-of-migrants-immediately-deported-under-cdc-order/


 

 





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