2020 has not been the year anyone expected and definitely not the year any of us wanted.
The COVID-19 virus-causing pandemic has affected all of us in ways we could have never imagined. At La Posada Providencia, we struggled with the unfamiliar environment of providing services during a lockdown caused by the pandemic. We modified how our staff worked, opting for working at home for as many staff as practicable, using rotating schedules. We adapted how we accepted new clients to ensure client and staff safety and we suspended visits to the facility from our friends and volunteers for everyone’s safety.
Let us tell you what we have not done during the pandemic.
We never closed! We never stopped working to find ways to help those in need who arrived at our shelter and ways to make our services better.
La Posada is an essential service in Cameron County, Texas, and remained open throughout – safely and responsibly providing services so that no client entering our program missed the vital services they needed. From March through September, we helped 118 new arrivals. By the time you read this message, we will have served more. Though this number is lower than our experience pre-COVID, each one of these individuals had important needs; they also arrived with hope for their future. With the generosity of donors like you, we made an important difference for them; we responded to their needs and we imparted hope.
We recall one young man who fled life-threatening violence in his home country, Guatemala. He said, “La Posada has been kind enough to provide me shelter; food, clothing, and English classes that I know will help me after resettling. Living here at La Posada has been a great experience for me. All that they have taught me will remain with me for the rest of my life.”
Then there is the experience of one of our youngest clients.
Her family’s extended stay with us qualified her to enroll in school. This was a monumental event for her; starting second grade. Then COVID hit and she, like so many other school-aged children around the country, had to attend school virtually. She loved going to school and being with her “a thousand” friends as her mother described it. She loves learning English and math addition, with her most favorite activity being her homework. At the start of the new school year, our young client adapted well to her new normal. Her mom, filled with gratitude, says,
“I am so thankful that La Posada has given us Wi-Fi, electricity, school supplies, pencils, and the resources for
my child to learn.”
We have many more examples like these – too many to list in this message. They demonstrate the needs fulfilled and many more needs from individuals and families hoping and praying for relief from fear and the opportunity for a lawful means to achieve a better life in this country.
We realize that there has been a terrible impact from the pandemic on so many people, and we understand that some of you want to – but cannot – help right now. But for those of you who can donate, your gift will mean even more to us as we continue to meet existing and new demands for services in the coming months.
We at La Posada remain inspired by your love and generosity. We could not continue welcoming the stranger without your faithful support. Thanks to you … countless numbers of people have received shelter, food, clothing, support, and a way forward to achieving a better life.