Project Santa Claus

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! We hope that you and all of your family members have had a wonderful Merry Christmas. Now it is time for a new year to start and for us to start planning our futures. With the COVID vaccines being administered, hopes of a better tomorrow are starting to whet our appetites to travel, to visit others, to get out and see the world again. While that could be our future, the future of those stuck at the border is much, much less certain. Let us hope our new administration will change the programs affecting our asylum seekers and make it easier for them to come into our country. Let us hope their lives will be better in the near future. Recently our UUNB congregation participated in a project that made the lives of those stuck at the border much better.

On Monday, December 21st, Tully Tullberg, Jo Pendleton (IWC member), and I crossed over into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico to take Christmas presents to the children of the parents stuck at the border. Many members of our church donated funds, toys, clothing, and other supplies to put together individualized gift bags for the kids. We then added items such as toiletries, fruit, candy, coloring books, and crayons, etc. The end result was 12 gift bags for the children in Nuevo Laredo and 7 for those in Saltillo, Mexico. We also took clothing, blankets, and food items for the adults. While we were there, the children put on a Nativity Play for us. It was amazing that they were able to make costumes, build paper mâché animals, angel wings, etc. They even built a small hut to simulate a manger. The baby Christ Child was an actual live refugee baby! We gave so little to them, but they gave us so much in return.

The leaders of the Refugee Support Network, the UUNB Board of Trustees, and other generous members of our community wish to thank all of those that helped make this project a huge success. We all experience a warm feeling when we are able to help others. Those 25 or so families that we gave a small bit of holiday spirit to will realize that there are some Americans who truly believe in their cause and will help them in whatever manner they can.

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful New Year!! Continue to stay healthy and to observe the guidelines of the CDC.

Chili Ornelas