On January 18, our team responded to a dire need within the expanding tent camp at Matamoros. We arrived early that morning with 200 solar powered, waterproof and collapsible lanterns we purchased from LuminAID through their non-profit program which offers hefty discounts for non-profits like ours. Now families can better look after their kids in the night, they can prepare food, they can find their way to bathrooms in safety, etc…

The lanterns also have the capability of charging cell phones, which solved yet another problem with which so many families had to cope.

And a charged phone is not a luxury. When you spend day after day stuck in a camp, isolated from home, keeping in touch with your loved ones is a necessity. When you have family waiting in the US for your status updates, a charged phone is a necessity. Staying in contact with lawyers is pretty darn important too.

But mainly, we wanted to provide light for the sake of added security, especially for women and children, who are particularly vulnerable to assault and/or kidnapping. When there is plenty of light around, those who would prey have lost the element of surprise, the secrecy of anonymity. We shudder to think of the trauma already inflicted which we cannot alleviate. We are horrified that so many live in fear of attack and we are about ready to do anything within our power and imagination to help on that front.   

Many of the families who had chosen to camp next to the road at the border, right next to the light, have been relocated to a more remote area of the park, by the levee. They need light. We are scrambling to provide what they need. If you can help, please do. We are looking to help 200 more families by February 8th. We pledge to use every penny of your donation towards purchasing these lanterns. We will deliver them personally and explain to each family how to use them and care for them. We will implement a system of accountability. In short, we will do our utmost to be good stewards of your help.

If intentions carried any sway, we’d have this humanitarian crisis sorted out by now. We are so limited in what we can do but this is something. A little money can offer a little more convenience, a little more safety, a little more endurance, a little more light.

Donations are accepted through PayPal at info@riovalleyreliefproject.com.

Click to donate and show your love with light.

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