2016 Christmas Distribution to 1500 Families in Tijuana, Mexico

Fifteen hundred families came via many bus lines or on foot from the hills and dumps to attend an early morning Mass. Some even arrived the night before and camped out in the street. 

A breakfast of cocoa and hot cinnamon buns was served to those waiting in line to receive the gifts. Humble men and women stood in line for hours to receive a chicken, a bag of beans, rice, oatmeal, sugar, tuna, canned milk, and fruit, along with a new blanket.  They were thrilled and grateful to receive this food and the other gifts, including shoes for the children.

Christmas Distribution at the Casa

The mission of the Casa is to glorify God through the works of mercy. The people did indeed glorify God and the Holy Family by their thankfulness and joy as they happily received their food, blankets, and a toy or a ball. The patio was decorated for Christmas, and a live Manger scene was created by bringing two or three animals from the City of Mercy Mental Hospital in Rosarita Beach.

The people enjoy the fellowship and comfort that the Casa offers. Women most often express their joy with tears.  Most of us have NO IDEA what it is like to live the way these people must live. They were sincerely grateful for these simple gifts, happy to share with others and to enjoy this festive Happy Day at the Casa with their friends and the Sisters.  To the men, women, and children who come to the Casa, it is “home” and represents a refuge, security, and love. “O God, you are my strength.”

Your Generosity Made this Christmas Distribution Possible for these 1500 Families

Thank you for hearing the cry of the poor!  You made Christmas a time of JOY for our brothers and sisters in Christ who endure harsh poverty in the dumps of Tijuana. Your generosity provided the 1500 bags of special food and a new blanket for 1500 families. The people were delighted to also receive oranges and applies in their bag of treats.  Christmas 2016 at the CAsa

In December, we received $24,919.37 from our regular donors for both monthly and Christmas help. We received $70,054.75 (total for both Nov. and Dec.) from our special Christmas appeal letter and other donors. That amount includes $36,568 from the All Hallows Church Advent collection and special letters. This money purchased the special food (chickens and shoes were donated) and blankets.  Thank you everyone!

Our check to Sister Armida this month will buy MORE BLANKETS, TARPS, food, and essentials for January. Words cannot convey how much we appreciate your generous giving and love for the poor in Tijuana who come to the Casa. The Sisters and people are grateful for your support and pray for your intentions daily.

The Sisters will be delivering more blankets, food, and some tarps and toys to several outlying Colonias that they help on a regular basis. The nights these last few weeks have been extremely cold and often wet. The need is never ending as you know by now. It is a good time to give:

  • TARPS, EXTRA BLANKETS, CAPS, SOCKS, and MITTENS

The Franciscan Sisters have been serving the destitute in Tijuana since 1957 through their soup kitchen, bodega (food pantry), roperia (clothing closet), medical clinic, and social service office. They reach thousands each week through their apostolate of LOVE — serving JESUS in the poor. We have NO overhead (only per-transaction PayPal and credit card charges) — everything we collect goes directly to help the Casa.

DECEMBER REPORT

  • 27,450 people of all ages served hot meals in the Dining Room
  • 975 General medical clinic, specialist consultations, and prescriptions filled
  • 2,370 bags of groceries were given
  • Many families received clothes and house supplies
  • 540 personally attended in Social Service Office
  • Home visits were made to families and the sick
  • Different groups came to do haircuts
  • 26 Scholarship aids were given

Jesus is the Face of the Poor

Those who were helped with your Christmas gifts have nothing. They live in the dumps on windy hills, have no running water, and electricity is scarce. Men, women, and children suffer from malnutrition and lung diseases caused by the continual breathing of polluted burning garbage fumes.  They are people like Maria . . .  Stories of the Casa

“Maria, a single mother of 34, and her four children are new to the Casa. The Sisters are helping them with food and medical assistance. Maria’s twin daughters, now age 5, were born premature. As they started kindergarten, the teachers noticed the girls were in need of medical care because of epilepsy, developmental, neurological, and vision problems.

One of the twins needs glasses and orthopedic shoes to help her walk. The other twin suffers from shingles in different parts of her little body, but the mother does not have money to buy medicines.  Continue reading

“Today and always, the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel.”

Pope Benedict, Emeritus

SPECIAL APPEAL IN ANTICIPATION OF CHRISTMAS

The Sisters pray that we 4-kids-with-blanket-1collect enough money to provide a special CHRISTMAS BAG of food along with a blanket for 1500 of the most helpless families.  The Sisters attended Masses at All Hallows Church on November 26-27 to meet with the people. We need increased cash and food donations for the poor families who live in the dumps of Tijuana, Mexico, just 40 miles from our warm homes. In the Franciscan Spirit, Sister Armida believes with all of her heart that “GOD WILL PROVIDE.”    Continue reading

Share Your Halloween Candy

Students and parishioners of San Diego County – can you share part of your Halloween candy for the children of the Casa de los Pobres (House of the Poor) in Tijuana?

The candy will become part of the Christmas distribution at the Casa. The Sisters of the halloweenFranciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Queen of Peace coordinate an annual Christmas distribution where 1,500 impoverished families receive a chicken, rice, beans, canned vegetables and fruit, and a bag of candy to make the festivities a little sweeter.  Families also receive blankets, jackets, shoes and toys for the children.

If you’d like to share your Halloween candy, please leave your candy donations in the office of your school or church, and mark them, “Casa de los Pobres.”  Continue reading

“If you can do good, do not put it off, because almsgiving frees us from death.”

St. Polycarp, Bishop

Gloria G., 30 years old, learned about Casa de los Pobres in mid-September, and she came to ask for help for her and her 10-year-old son. Her husband abandoned her six years ago, afraid of her advanced tuberculosis. In spite of this serious condition, with help of family and other people, she had treatment that saved her life, although she lost one of her lungs.

She continues to be under medical care; she suffers physical tiredness, so she cannot have a stable job. Frequently, she needs to be in the hospital. Doctors recommend a balanced diet to gain weight, but she cannot recuperate because she does not have the money to keep a nutritional diet. She learned to do some haircuts and nails and other simple things to be able to earn a little money to support her son who is in school. This summer, he worked in a supermarket bagging food, so he could buy his backpack and return to school. After listening to her story, the Casa offered her a card to come weekly for groceries on Bodega Day, shoes for her son, school supplies, and added her son to the scholarship aid list. Gloria was very surprised and very grateful to God for finding Casa de los Pobres.   Continue reading

“The Lord is Just and Loves Justice; the Upright Shall See His Face.”

Psalm 11

A Jesuit Seminarian stayed at the Casa last year, and here is part of his story . . .

“I went to teach catechism with Sisters Angeles and Teresa in the Santa Julia Colonia. It is far off and known for its high crime rate. Many houses are built precariously along the hillside. We visited two hardworking families. They were very warm and generous. We later reached the Center, a small building with three classrooms and a large field. The Sisters told of the problems they have with theft and vandalism even though the rooms are very simple. It was living in extreme poverty or in very desperate situations which led to this destruction, I thought.”

schoolkids-longhoriz

Continue reading

“Remember the poor and afflicted, do not let this day be a burden to them but a consolation and a joy.”

Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours

it is indeed a consolation and a joy for the poor to come to the Casa. Along with food and medical care, many spiritual and emotional needs are met by the loving and wise care of the Sisters . . .

“Thanks to God and to all benefactors and to the Sisters for the great support they are giving us. Many thanks because thanks to this, I will keep on in my studies and enable me to be a better person. Many thanks for all your help and may God bless you.”  Juan V.

From a mother with 4 children, among them twin girls of 4 years old. One of them has a serious brain problem and the other is real alert. In the name of her children, she writes: “Good day for all. I thank you for helping me with school aid for the whole school year of kindergarten 2015-16. The girls Briseida and Brissa will go to 3rd kinder year, thanks to your great help. May God bless you and continue to bless you.”

Special Requests:  School Supplies, Backpacks, Shoes, Socks

The Nuns encourage the children to better themselves through earnest study. Their kids-with-diplomasparents understand the importance of school. The Sisters who teach classes in the Colonias of Santa Julia and The Railroad (the Dumps) report good progress; the children are eager to learn and apply themselves well. Many who have received scholarship aid are now nurses, lawyers, psychologists, and others who hold good jobs. These successful adults were destitute children when they came to the Casa some years ago.

The need for FOOD AND THE BASICS — toilet paper, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo — the little things that we take for granted — is ever present. Continue reading

“When Paul and Barnabas preached the Good News, their only stipulation was to be mindful of the poor”

Galatians 2:10

colonia-home

A Jesuit notice writes about his visit to a distant Colonia:  “We visited Dona Elma, a diabetic, who comes to the Casa when she can for food and medical help. This trip takes two buses and 45 minutes. She has problems seeing and walking. Her house is in a downhill ravine with a difficult and uneven path. I was saddened when I saw the situation in which she lives. The walls are falling apart, the roof doesn’t cover the entire home, and she needs to use a bucket as a toilet since the outhouse is no longer functional.”

“She receives very little help from the government and finds that going to the Casa de los Pobres is worth the difficulties. When she is able to make the trip, she obtains food and medical attention. I was amazed by her faith and joy. In spite of all this, Dona Elma does not lose her good spirits. She says she always tries to look at the bright side of things.” Continue reading

“Where God finds charity with its loving concern, there He recognizes the reflection of His own fatherly care.”

St. Leo the Great

A note of gratitude from one of the children of the Casa (translated)

“Well, first of all I would like to thank you for the help that you have been giving us these past years. Thank you for your help in my sister’s and my school supplies, because it is a big help. My Mom’s weekly salary is $61 (in U.S. dollars) a week and she needs to pay rent, electricity, water, food, our lunch (we are three sisters), and bus tickets to go to our schools (kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school).  This is all a big help. May God multiply all you give us a thousand to one. You are a true blessing. Thank you. God bless you.”  Guadalupe R.C.

The Sisters provide hope, courage, strength, and love to these people

sisters-anniversary

Many of the men, women, and children who come to the Casa are weak, need medical care, food, and clothing. They are overwhelmed with physical and mental ills.  Most are very hungry, and so they apply for food cards from the Social Service Office. Often, these people have no food at home. These cards enable hundreds to come for Bodega Day each Thursday to receive a bag of donated groceries — beans, rice, a few vegetables, a can of food, and some day old bread. FOOD IS UPPERMOST IN THE MINDS OF THE POOR.  Continue reading

“Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world . . .”

” . . . but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give.”  St. Francis of Assisi

The Sisters instill hope and treat each individual winter-dressed kidswith a tenderness, respect, and love that can only come from God. The undercurrent of JOY amid so much destitution and illness is felt by anyone who visits the Casa. During the Holy Hour and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays, the people chant praise and thanksgiving to God for your intentions and special prayer requests. Please send us your special requests. No donations are necessary.  Continue reading