Roof project complete

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Thanks to donations from friends all across the country earlier this month we were able to complete all the roof repairs needed at the Tree of Hopes complex at Comedor Aposento Alto in Juarez.

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The project involved using sheet metal purchased in Juarez and installed using local labor.  Now we can worry less about the upcoming rainy season as we do all we can to protect our facilities. Over the past year Tree of Hopes has been working along the US Mexico border helping to provide food and shelter for people migrating to our area in search of a better life. We work in cooperation with the Mexican government and other groups helping each person connect with legal assistance and with authorities on both sides of the border. Everyone is a volunteer and every donation helps.

When you step out of your comfort zone and get involved in helping others you realize that the experience helps you be more productive and more flexible when unexpected things happen in the future. On top of that learning new things throughout your life contributes to happiness. Contact us today if you want to help. I can assure you that the need is great.

Roof repairs begin this week

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Our VENMO ID: TreeofHopes

Thanks to all of our friends and supporters it has been a very busy year so far at Tree of Hopes as new heaters were recently installed in all the living areas of our shelter to help keep our guests warm during the cold winter months.

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Workers installed efficient, reliable and quiet York mini-splits to heat and cool the shelter this week.

Our next big project is repairing all of the roofs at the facility.    As you can see from these pictures repairs are long overdue and we need to protect our buildings from rain water damage.   Funds are still needed for materials.  Donations can now be made using VENMO and PayPal.

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Everyone at Tree of Hopes is involved in the daily tasks needed to keep the facility clean and neat.  Our guests have helped repair waterlines and trim trees and everyone has a role to play in keeping the area clean and helping in the kitchen area.

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Our VENMO ID: TreeofHopes

Looking for a fast way to give? Tree of Hopes is excited to announce that supporters can now donate using Venmo

We know that Venmo users are a digitally engaged and a mobile-first audience and hope that offering this new payment option will make the donation process easier for everyone to support our efforts.

Setting up a Venmo account on your phone is very easy.   Here are the steps:

1. Download one of our mobile apps: iOS & Android (Venmo does not have a Windows app)
2. Open the Venmo app.
3. Choose your sign up method and create a secure password (between 8 and 32 characters long).
4. Verify your phone number and email address.
5. Add and verify your bank account.

 

 

REGALOS BAJO EL ÁRBOL

Desde hace varios años se creó este día, donde voluntarios de buen corazón comparten con los niños y sus familia, está navidad es especial tenemos niños y niñas de otros países quienes recibieron regalos, tamales, pastel y dulces , sabemos que no podemos estar presentes siempre, pero un día que dedican estos muchachos, los convierte en héroes ya hacen una gran diferencia para estas personas, quienes se llenan de alegría, emoción y felicidad.

This day was created several years ago, when good-hearted volunteers came to Tree of Hopes to share with children and their families.  They make Christmas special for the  children from other countries staying with us who receive gifts, tamales, cake and sweets.  We know that we cannot always be present, but on this day that they dedicate their time and gifts to these children, they become heroes and make a big difference, filling them with joy, emotion and happiness.

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Navidad llega más pronto, pero para la mayoría de ellos no importa el día, por que será e único regaló que recibirán. Cada año los niños esperan a Óscar Bernal y sus duendes, este grupo de personas maravillosas se reúnen para compartir la magia de la navidad con estos niños.

Christmas is coming soon, but for most of the children at Tree of Hopes the day does not matter, because on this day they will receive their only Christmas gift. Every year the children wait for Oscar Bernal and his elves.  His group of wonderful people gather to share the magic of Christmas with these children.

Gracias por apoyarnos un año más!!

Feliz navidad

Help us help them

A volunteer in El Paso recently donated handmade blankets. Others are helping to purchase heaters to keep everyone warm on cold winter nights.

Over the past year Tree of Hopes has been working along the US Mexico border helping to provide food and shelter for people migrating to our area in search of a better life. We work in cooperation with the Mexican government and other groups helping each person connect with legal assistance and with authorities on both sides of the border. Everyone is a volunteer and every donation helps.

When you step out of your comfort zone and get involved in helping others you realize that the experience helps you be more productive and more flexible when unexpected things happen in the future. On top of that learning new things throughout your life contributes to happiness. Contact us today if you want to help. I can assure you that the need is great.

Thank you Lindy and Will

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Left to right – Tree of Hopes Volunteer Nestor with Will and Lindy

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.   We have so much to be grateful for as we prepare for Thanksgiving dinner hosted by friends in El Paso.   Currently we have 46 guests in our shelter who are staying with us as they await their asylum hearings.

Thanks to our new friends Lindy and Will from Seguimos Adelante in El Paso for donating a new water heater and water pump for the shelter’s bathroom.   Now our guests can take hot showers.

 

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Alimentación tradicional

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Como cada uno de nosotros tenemos diferentes culturas alimentarias al ser de distintos países coincidimos en algunas cosas que son parte de nuestra alimentación básica

Gracias a la secretaria de salud.

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Quienes nos acompañaron para poder compartir con nosotros el conocimiento del buen comer,

Los muchachos aprendieron y nos enseñaron diferentes nombres de platillos de sus. Lugares de origen y compartieron sus experiencias con la comida mexicana, hondureña y guatemalteca.

Cada platillo es diferente pero siempre termina en nuestras mesas para alimentar al cuerpo.

También tuvimos la oportunidad de un Chequeo rápido de piezas dentales para nuestros migrantes quienes se toman el tiempo y brindan su amor para compartir con ellos y también los atienden en la clínica donde los muchachos pueden ir a recibir atención dental de calidad.

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Dando un poco de color

Esta semana los muchachos pusieron manos ala obra para brindar un cambio al frente de Treeofhopes.

Agradecemos al lic.Naldo Beltrán quien donó parte de los ocotillos que hoy dan un color distinto a nuestras instalaciones.

One cup of coffee

IMG_5453We have planted a tree of hopes, can you spare a cup?

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For the price of a cup of coffee, one time, once a week or as often as you wish, you can help grow a tree of hopes.  Near the northwest edge of El Paso a tree of hopes in growing in a community in Mexico called Anapra.  Tree of Hopes is inspired by the lives of Victor Villalobos and his wife Velia who with the help of their entire family and friends have dedicated their lives to helping people in need.

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Every day Victor and his family are helping people who are hungry, in need of clothing, medical aid and oftentimes a place to live.  Some live in extremely poor conditions and are able to receive assistance from organizations like Casas Por Cristo.  For many years Casa volunteers have traveled to Anapra to build homes for families living in small shacks made out of pieces of wood, pallets, blankets and metal sheets.  Volunteers have often slept in the Tree of Hopes church called the Aposento Alto and have their meals at the Comedor nearby.  In Spanish “Aposento Alto” means high on a hill and “comedor’ means dining room.

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Today the Comedor Aposento Alto is a refugee center for over 50 migrants who have come to the border seeking a better life from terror-stricken regions in Latin America like Honduras and El Salvador.

Two years ago, I was so impressed by everything Victor’s family was doing that I felt God calling me to grow a Tree of Hopes.  It’s a very young tree, almost a seedling, but with the help of Rotarians in Juarez and El Paso and people from all walks of life who have helped, Tree of Hopes is making a difference in the lives of people in tremendous need.  I can assure you that they are very grateful for every act of kindness and we are giving them hope.

Just to give you some idea of the impact of the Victor’s family’s efforts over the past six months, the Tree of Hopes facility has provided food and shelter for nearly two hundred migrants.

As I write this blog on a late summer evening, the Mexican Government has brought 30 more migrants needing a place to stay.  Some who are with children are crying.  Most have appointments for asylum hearings and will have to wait months.  There is no more room in the dormitory area on this night so many will have to sleep in the church.

Victor is a humble man as is his wife Velia and their two children Grissel and Nestor.  The entire family is dedicated to these people volunteering their help seven days a week.  They live on donations from people in El Paso who help them buy food, gasoline and pay the bills.

victorVíctor Villalobos Camarena founded Comedor Aposento Alto in Anapra, a small community in northwestern Juarez. He has not only has helped thousands of people living in this poor area of Juarez with food and clothing, but was also able to convince the City of Juarez to build a very popular community park and soccer field nearby.

My Rotary Club’s foundation accounts for many of the tax-deductible contributions.  The need is always great and Tree of Hopes we will continue to raise funds to pay the bills and make further improvements.  We hope that you will help in any way you can.  For the price of a cup of coffee, one time, once a week or as often as you wish, you can help grow a tree that produces the best fruit anywhere – a fruit called “hope”.

We need 60 pillows

Hello everyone. Tree of Hopes in Juarez just received 20 more migrants with no place to sleep. We are using every part of our facility. I just learned that we need 60 pillows. If you can donate pillows please contact us as soon as possible.

Be a part of our tree

With the help of the Juarez Executive Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of West El Paso, the Zaragoza Rotary Club, the Municipal Government of Juarez and many friends, Tree of Hopes is growing one day at a time. We are helping one of the poorest communities in Juarez with warm food, clothing, medical needs and shelter. Please help us reach our goal of raising $100,000 to sustain this effort over the next few years.

Let us hear from you.  Tell us how you want to be a part of the tree.  You can be a part of the trunk, a branch, a stem, a leaf, a flower or simply a ray of sunshine. Thank you for taking time to learn about Tree of Hopes.

Thank you Nextdoor app!

Last week we posted on here and shared with our community in West El Paso using the Nextdoor app our need for a used refrigerator. The response was tremendous and we were given three refrigerators! Thanks everyone for your help. They have already been delivered to the Aposento Alto Tree of Hopes facility in Juarez and work great.

Large refrigerator needed

Over the past few months Tree of Hopes has been providing hundreds of meals each week for people in need.  Today our large refrigerator broke down and we are in need of a new one.   Anyone who can help with a new or used refrigerator can contact Rick LoBello in El Paso by email or phone at ricklobello@gmail.com or 915-474-1456.

We have planted the Tree of Hopes in Anapra, a neighborhood in the city of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders the Rio Grande.  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.

Thanks to our partner organization, the Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation, all donations to Tree of Hopes project are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

 

Volunteer of the month

This month we honor Jose Luis Almonte as our Tree of Hopes Volunteer of the Month. Jose has helped us paint buildings and supervise others working on a wide variety of projects including kitchen and housekeeping projects and landscaping. Thank you Jose for all the ways you help Tree of Hopes. We wish you all the best.

We are all the same

Over the past few months I have witnessed up close what is happening on our border with Mexico. Like most people supporting legal paths for immigration, treating people humanely and with respect is as important as all the ongoing debates.

We all know how divided we are when it comes to immigration. How do we break the divide and find lasting solutions? Recently I listened in on a meeting with about 40 migrants being cared for on the Mexican side of the border. They were brought to the shelter where they are being protected by the Mexican government with the help of volunteers offering food, clothing counseling and medical assistance. As they listened to a volunteer talk about some of the issues they were facing, many eyes filled with tears. I realized at that moment how much they need our help. Clearly respecting our immigration laws, these people only ask that they be given a chance for a better life.

Most people in the US do not understand that the migrant problem on our border with Mexico is not just a humanitarian challenge on the US side, but on the Mexican side as well. Most migrants being processed by Homeland Security in El Paso do not have the same level of care in Mexico. In Juarez the Mexican government counts on people who have very little themselves to come to the aid of those hoping for a better life.

Here in El Paso we are living on the front lines where every day people from all over Latin America are trying to come to the United States for a better life. Over the past few months I have met people from Cuba, Honduras, Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexican States where drug lords are making life extremely dangerous.

Everyone has a different story. Every individual is a child of God with the same feelings and desires all of us have in living this life. As I open my eyes and think more about these people I am reminded of the words from a Janet Jackson album recorded decades ago. “In complete darkness we are all the same, it is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us, don’t let your eyes deceive you.”

Aposento Alto Tree of Hopes Mexico is on the front lines doing all we can to help people in need. Every offer of support with donations and volunteer assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thank you Display Services

Special thanks to Display’s Services in El Paso for their help with our new sign hanging on the Aposento Comedor Tree of Hopes Mexico. The Comedor (dining room) is the hub of activity at the Aposento Alto Tree of Hopes Mexico where people in need are provided with food and clothing, consoling and medical services. This same facility also provides sleeping areas for Casa Por Cristo volunteers helping to build homes for families living in very poor living conditions in the area.

Sponsorship opportunities abound

be a sponsor

As a Tree of Hopes sponsor you or your business can help our tree grow into a vibrant force for good on the border.  Sponsors will be listed on this page for one year by making a Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation tax deductible contribution at one of the following levels:

Pinyon Pine Oak Forest Sponsor $10,000

Rio Bosque Wetlands Forest Sponsor $5000

Ponderosa Pine Sponsor $1000

Douglas Fir Sponsor $500

Desert Willow Sponsor $250

Oak Tree Sponsor $100

Mesquite Tree Sponsor $50

Click here to learn more and donate online

Mission accomplished

Using a welding machine purchased with funds donated by the Rotary Club of West El Paso Foundation, volunteers like Ismael have played an important role in helping to install a badly needed water storage tank also donated by the Foundation. Thanks to all for your contributions and support of the Tree of Hopes Aposento Alto Comedor where we help people in need every day.