Just 1 at a Time

Emergency Relief

The needs are formidable. Forced from their homes in their own countries, thousands of people have fled to the US-Mexico border, often with nothing more than the clothes they wear, hoping for refuge, safety, and a return to dignity. Women, men, children, families.

A coat, a blanket, a roof that doesn’t leak: One Story at a Time seeks and secures tangible assistance that helps make an immediate difference.

We discovered a wonderful dentist near the border, who works for free; we contribute to her dental tools and products. Last summer a shelter’s refrigerator stopped working. Through the generosity of others, we were able to find and install a replacement the very same day.

People are asked to go in front of the courts and plead their cases for asylum. The majority do not speak English and don’t know how to negotiate an often complex legal system. This year we were able to help by donating to Border Angels, who provide translators and, for those who live in shelters far removed from towns, bus tickets so that they can secure thorough legal assistance.

The Coat

Picture the unexpected emergencies in your own life. A broken tooth. A broken pipe. A playground accident that requires a visit to the emergency room. It’s virtually impossible to plan for the unexpected. Yet, we deal with it, one incident at a time.

Now picture unexpected emergencies of those whose lives have been upended, forced to flee their homes, living in shelters, hoping for safety.

This past winter, Lulu—one of our “feet on the street” partners—contacted Linda Carroll. The cold snap at the Tijuana border had created a dire situation for many in the shelters. Linda put out a call to her network in her home town of Corvallis, Oregon.

The very next day, four boxes of coats were placed on Linda’s doorstep. They arrived in Mexico two days later.

One coat stood out: an orange-and-blue ski jacket that still had its ski lift tag attached. After the coats arrived at the shelter, Lulu sent us a collection of photos. And there was that jacket, the ski lift tag still in place. Only now, there was a little boy wearing it.

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