This year Point Loma Nazarene University’s Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), Ministry with Mexico and Center for Justice and Reconciliation (CJR) have come together under a unified passion to raise funds and awareness for those in need living just a few miles away.
The acquired funds will be given to various organizations that Ministry with Mexico partners with to purchase bedding and towels for children in Tijuana. The funds will also be split with the non-profit organization Border Angels to provide care kits for migrant children and families who are at the border.
According to the Border Angels website, their organization is built on volunteers and is focused on advocating for human rights, immigration reform and social justice. Some of the different services the organization provides include water drops, bond programs, shelter aid, consultations and a few others.
According to AP News, in March 2020, the Trump administration imposed Title 42 as a result of emergency health concerns that were brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. This title prevented migrants seeking asylum from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. However, as of May 2023, the title was lifted creating an influx of asylum seekers waiting at the border.
“There are many children and families waiting in shelters at the border to get their asylum processed or to figure out what their next steps are as they are fleeing violence, economic disparity and other ‘push’ factors that cause people to migrate,” said Manager of Student Programs at the Center for Justice and Reconciliation Katie Hodson.
In light of this current state, Hodson believes that PLNU and surrounding communities recognize migrants’ increased need for supplies and want to respond.
“It is important as Christians to understand and empathize with our neighbors’ needs, and work to meet those needs,” said Hodson.
The first of the three planned events to raise funds toward this issue was on Nov. 14 outside of the Caf from 12 to 1 p.m. Here, representatives from each of PLNU’s programs listed above gathered to sell agua frescas.
According to ALAS intern Jessica Hernandez, during the allotted time of the event, the card reader they used to process non-cash transactions was experiencing technical difficulties which stunted the ability of some of the students’ purchases that day. However, these technical difficulties did not prevent Hernandez from believing the first sale was successful.
“Many people coming by had questions regarding what it was for and it was a great conversation starter to share about what our collaboration is all about,” said Hernandez.
Although the overarching goal has been expressed as raising funds through the selling of widely favored treats, Hernandez hopes that students who partake and contribute to these events begin to learn more and spread awareness about border issues that are so close to our school.
“We do hope students are purchasing our products because there is also a greater cause they are serving,” said Hernandez. “The selling of products makes donating more approachable and inviting, especially if students have not had the chance to learn about the influx of migrants that are in great need of resources at the border.”
Second-year nursing major Selah Cortez is part of Ministry with Mexico and agreed that more awareness needs to be brought to the students of PLNU’s campus.
“I think the biggest overall problem surrounding the border issues is that people struggle to see those who are living on the other side as much human as they see themselves,” said Cortez.
The next fundraiser and opportunity to get involved is on Nov. 28 where they will be selling Gushers with Chamoy and Tajin. The last fundraiser will be held soon after on Nov. 30 where you can purchase Abuelita Hot Chocolate and pan dulce. Both will take place from 12 to 1 p.m.
To learn more about Border Angels, one of the organizations that donations are funding, and each of their services that they provide, visit the “Our Services” tab at https://www.borderangels.org/.