The Mustard Seed Cafe

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Last week we were happy to support the work of the Mustard Seed Cafe in El Paso with a donation of food supplies.  The Cafe has been feeding hungry people and caring for every heart that comes through their door since 2011.   They have a new location in West El Paso at  the Westside Community Church, 201 E. Sunset Rd.  Check out there website to learn more including business hours.

The mission of Tree of Hopes is to support “One Health” humanitarian efforts to help needy families living along the US Mexico border in the Juarez, Chihuahua – El Paso, Texas region.  One Health recognizes that the health and over all well-being of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

The following information from their website describes this wonderful community cafe.

The Mustard Seed Café is a NonProfit, Pay-What-You-Can Community Café. We want to tell and demonstrate the love of Jesus to every single person who comes through our doors! We serve delicious, nutritious food with an accompanying commitment to treat each person with dignity and honor.

Guests may volunteer an hour with us in exchange for a meal or they may choose to pay what they can on a suggested price for their meal. Some pay the suggested price, others pay less, and some pay more as a donation to pay it forward.

We welcome all!

When you come to the café:
  • Our greeters and volunteers offer a genuine and warm welcome.
  • Talk to our manager, Carmen, if you’d like to volunteer an hour with us in exchange for your meal.
  • Our menu changes weekly and is written on the large chalkboard in the café.
  • When you’re are ready to eat, step up to the buffet line and tell our chef and volunteers what you’d like to order. Our feature items vary weekly, as do our side dishes. We always serve a delicious soup, and our salad bar is one of the best in town. Dessert is usually a yummy cookie or bar, and we serve tea, coffee, and infused water.
  • Your guest check is on your food tray with a suggested price. You’ll pay after you eat.
  • Sit where you like and enjoy your meal.
  • You decide what to pay. Pay the suggested price, pay less if you need to, or pay more to help us keep doing what we’re doing.
  • Write the amount of your payment on your guest check, and pay at the door as you leave.

 

We’re looking to bake some bread and cook a whole lot of food

stainless-steel-whirlpool-single-oven-gas-ranges-wfg320m0bs-64_1000Tree of Hopes in Mexico is located in the Anapra community of northwestern Juarez.  Recently the organization received a donation of over 100 pounds of organic flour.  Unfortunately the volunteers that help to feed needy families in the area do not have a oven to bake with.

With the help of our friends we hope to purchase a new Whirlpool Oven.  Our goal is to raise $350 over the next six days.   Can you help with a donation of any size?   All contributions are tax deductible.

Donations can be made online at anytime between now and January 9.

For more information contact ricklobello@gmail.com.

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Tree of Hopes Grows

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by Rick LoBello

A little over a year ago I realized something about myself that I knew was there, but for a long time was hidden from view.   As a wildlife conservationist working all of my adult life in National Parks and now the El Paso Zoo, I have always focused on my job and on related environmental education and advocacy efforts.  Then one day last year I discovered that I had a place in my heart that was pretty much wide open. It was a place where I have a passion for helping the less fortunate.  Soon I was doing what I always seem to do, trying to make a difference by encouraging others who also care.

As a member of Rotary International for over 30 years I have been encouraged to live by the 4 way test – (1) Is it the truth?, (2) Is it fair to all concerned? (3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? (4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?   I really want my life to reflect Rotary values which in my opinion are in line with my Christian faith and everything about being an American.  They are also in line with many other people’s values around the world like the global network I am a part of with 1.2 million business and professional leaders in Rotary.

The tree I helped to plant last year I am happy to report is growing.  Thanks to the Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation and most recently the Zaragoza Rotary Club, Tree of Hopes is gaining more and more support everyday.  Our Helping Families in Need This Christmas Project is touching hearts as our Tree of Hopes bears fruit and grows into a stronger part of our community.

One of the greatest things that I have realized over the past year is what I describe as a “ocean of poverty” in my own back yard.  Back in the 1990s when I visited El Paso’s sister city Juarez, I only experienced the business district near the Bridge of Americas.  Today I am learning that the poverty of Juarez is much greater than I ever realized.   I can’t sit back and just pretend that I don’t live next to this ocean. I can’t drive to work every day on I-10 and not look to the right and see the homes of so many in need.   I just can’t.   It is my hope that this Tree of Hopes will become a important outreach effort for good in the days ahead and that it will encourage others to plant trees of hopes everywhere.

I tell my friends that when you help the Tree of Hopes grow, you can also experience an inner peace as you realize how “we belong to each other (Mother Teresa).”    Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

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Thank you Jim

My friend Jim Tolbert has been a real blessing this year as he took the lead in getting St. Alban’s Episcopal Church to help collect blankets and clothes for our Christmas food and toy distribution program in Anapra this year, Jim is one of El Paso’s shining points of lights and an outstanding example of a citizen who cares about making our community a better place. Thanks to Jim and everyone at St. Alban’s.

Rick LoBello

Seven West El Paso businesses receiving toys, food and blankets for needy families this Christmas

IMG_0780Seven West El Paso businesses have signed up to as drop off points for toys, blankets, coats and non-perishable items for the Tree of Hopes Christmas food and toy distribution project on December 22.   They include Avila’s Mexican Food Restaurant, 6232 Mesa; Starbucks at Sunland Park and 6015 N. Mesa; Starbucks at Redd Road and I-10 West (5650 Desert Blvd); AlphaGraphics, 6303 N Mesa St; CVS Pharmacy, 680 E Redd Road; Ardovino’s Pizza 2, 865 N Resler Dr M; and Charlie Clark Nissan, 6451 S Desert Blvd.  The deadline to donate is December 20

On December 22, 2018 Tree of Hopes of El Paso and Mexico are planning a special Christmas food and toy distribution project in far northwest Juárez near the Santa Teresa Bridge border crossing.  With the support of Rotary Clubs in El Paso, Tree of Hopes plans to help needy families living in one of the poorest areas of the city along the Texas-New Mexico border with Mexico.  Last Christmas the group’s founder and Past President of the Rotary Club of El Paso, Rick LoBello, saw firsthand the great need so many people in this area experience when he helped the Comedor Aposento on Christmas Eve.  Volunteers distributed blankets and food baskets and toys donated by Service Systems and Associates Safari Outfitters gift shop at the El Paso Zoo. This year Tree of Hopes is inviting friends, Rotarians and others who are interested to be a part of an expanded effort on December 22.  The organization needs help in raising funds to purchase food items and other items like toys and blankets.  Donations of toys, non perishable food items, clothes and blankets are also being accepted between now and December 20.

To learn more visit treeofhopes.com or send a text message or email to Rick LoBello at 915-474-1456 (Send a text to arrange for a call) or ricklobello@gmail.com.

The mission of Tree of Hopes is to support humanitarian efforts to help needy families living along the US Mexico border in the Juarez, Chihuahua – El Paso, Texas region.

 

Thank you AlphaGraphics

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We would like to thank of Edgar Granado and Ana Basurto of AlphaGraphics (6303 N Mesa St) for donating the design and printing of the poster we are using to promote our Christmas Toy and Food Distribution project.    The poster features one of the families we are helping with food this year.   Everyone in our community helping in their own special way is important to this effort.  AlphaGraphics is also a drop off point for non perishable food items, blankets, winter jackets and toys.   Please make your donations before December 20.

Four more drop off points in West El Paso

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We are happy to report that four more businesses have signed up to join Avila’s Mexican Food Restaurant as drop off points for toys, blankets, coats and non-perishable items for our Christmas food and toy distribution project on December 22.   They include AlphaGraphics, 6303 N Mesa St; CVS Pharmacy, 680 E Redd Road; Ardovino’s Pizza 2, 865 N Resler Dr M and Charlie Clark Nissan, 6451 S Desert Blvd.   Please remember that the deadline to donate is December 20.

Thank you so much for all of your help.  Let’s remember the life of President H.W. Bush this Christmas by becoming points of light in our community.

Update – Christmas food and toy distribution project

Avila’s Mexican Food Restaurant at 6232 Mesa, El Paso will be a collection point for the Tree of Hopes Christmas Food and Toy Distribution Project.

They will accept non perishable food items, blankets, winter jackets and toys Monday to Thursday 11am to 2pm and 4:30 to 8:30pm, Friday to Saturday 11am to 8:30pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.

Donations can be made online at anytime between now and December 20.

Special thanks to Andy Avila and his staff for all of their help.

Tonight on Univision – 10pm

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Founding Tree of Hopes board member Nestor Ramirez was interviewed today for tonight’s 10pm News Program on Univision Channel 26.  During the interview he told Univision “we want to help people in great need in far northwest Juarez that most people in El Paso do not know.  We need food, blankets, toys and money to help us with our Christmas food and toy distribution project .

Donations can be made online and  non perishable food items, blankets, winter jackets and toys can be dropped off at Avilas Mexican Food Restaurant, 6232 Mesa, El Paso Texas Monday to Thursday 11am to 2pm and 4:30 to 8:30pm, Friday to Saturday 11am to 8:30pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.

Thank you Univision and all the people who make this media outlet such an important part of our community.  Channel 26 broadcasts its Spanish news program across the Juarez-El Paso metroplex.   During the last quarter of 2017 it was the number one Spanish network.

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