Monday, July 1, 2019

What I Did

I couldn't watch the news.  Every channel had pictures of a drowned man and his toddler daughter.  I couldn't look at it.  I just kept saying to myself, over and over and over again, This is NOT my America.

I know it is my America.  It's FDR's decision to turn away the St Louis in 1939.  It's The Trail of Tears.  It's internment and red lining and SCOTUS sanctioned voter suppression.  But that image was just too much for me.

I had to do something.  
So, I shopped.
 I took $100 and went to The Dollar Store and bought 50 pairs of flip flops and 10 boxes of crayons and 10 small pads of paper and 10 little toys.  I bought toothbrushes and small packs of tissues.  I filled my trunk with the clothes waiting to go to Goodwill, with the brand new sweatshirt that fits no one in my family, and with 4 bottles of Dove Body Wash, just because.  

I drove to the former Benedictine Monastery, which owner Ross Rulney (for whom a chair at the right hand of God is reserved) has leased to Catholic Charities to use as a shelter.  He's not charging rent.  Instead of sitting empty, since January the building has seen more than 10,000 migrants.

10,000 migrants.
Since January.

I had to let that sink in for a while as I waited for the security guard to direct me.  It's a beautiful building in the middle of town.  Except for the police car in the parking lot, there's no indication that this is anything but a religious respite from the real world.
There were kids running in the yard and volunteers helping me schlep my treasures and I left with a donation receipt, instructions on how to begin the Volunteer Registration process, and a full heart.

These are folks on the other side of the border crisis.  They are on their way.  Volunteers are helping.

I left feeling a lot better about my America.


  1. Since I am not in Tucson right now, is there a way to contribute funds or send goods to this or another shelter which is serving migrants near the border?

    1. I will wonder about this with the email contact I have. I will keep you posted.

  2. Thank you. And what Laura said.

    1. We do what we can with what we have, and right then I had money. Sigh.

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