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April 3, 2020

1/2/2020 4:25:00 PM
Helping in the Arizona desert

Hi all, I miss my Soroptomist friends so much. You don’t know what it means to have so many people standing next to me.

Some background: When we first arrived at the start of November I went to the two shelters twice in the first week. It’s about a 30-40 minute drive to the border from my house. My first trip, I brought two bags of shoes. Shoes are in constant demand. The Mexican authorities decided that they had to charge me duty tax on the used shoes I was bringing in. I argued my case with three different people. But in the end they got me for $50!

Casa del Migrantes is a shelter I’ve helped with for over two years. My first visit this time, there were about 70 but by the next week, it had jumped to 100. It is a pretty primitive camp and mostly all men. I’ve been going by myself as Rick doesn’t feel up to it yet, and I feel completely safe. Yesterday I bought them blankets and jeans that we had bought up in Washington. (Don’t ask me how I got them across the border!) A friend of my sister’s in Chicago sent me a case of toothbrushes and toothpaste so I concealed those (a little each week) to hand out.

The other shelter is Casa San Pedro. Rick and I were the only ones helping them last year. Mostly there were about 35 guys all year. Now it has jumped to 120 and it is mostly families with children, some of the women pregnant. Today a nurse friend is going there with a med student in OB/GYN. Yeah!

I’ll send some photos but mostly I don’t like to take their photos. I take the people at San Pedro grocery shopping each week. We spend about $450-500 each week to feed 120 all their meals. It’s about $.60 a day. Besides Samaritans helping, two other groups help pay for groceries, No More Deaths and also Humane Borders. Another friend spends about the same amount shopping at the other shelter.

My life is a whirl. And we had a beautiful vigil last week that I helped with, to honor those who have died in the desert. About 200 names were read, just from this year, most unidentified.

Love to you all.
Jan St. Peters

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