By Ruthanne Landsness
August 2022 was Casa Alitas clothing drive month for the Immigration Justice team. During that time, the team was thrilled to receive boxes and boxes and sacks and more sacks of clothing from the ORUCC, Mennonite and First Baptist congregations. Each week, team members carefully sorted and boxed the clothing, making it ready for its trip to Casa Alitas in Tucson.
The Frank Room in the education wing was filled with many oohs and aahs as we went through the sacks of clothing – baby and kid’s clothes, teen’s, women’s and men’s. We held up with delight one piece of baby clothes after the other. And think beautiful women’s and men’s tops and pants, and boy’s and girl’s clothing that included coveted sports-themed T-shirts for the boys and “lycra” leggings for the girls. And yes to the caps, hats, and belts. Try to imagine the excitement on a young man’s face as he dons one of the many caps we received. And shoes! Everything from cowboy boots to tennies to baby booties. And someone is going to love one of the great backpacks that they will carry on their back to their new home. And last but not least, the supply of underwear – everyone at Casa Alitas gets a new set of underwear. It is always an item in demand.
In all, on Sunday, August 28, we hoisted 45 big UHaul boxes of clothing onto Steve Sheets’ trailer. Even though Steve hasn’t arrived in Tucson as of this writing, we are assured that Steve will be greeted with enthusiasm at Casa Alitas, and are told that some of the clothing will be given out the day it arrives.
Our thanks to all who contributed to the Casa Alitas clothing drive. Know that your gift carries your heart and compassion to a grateful new arrival to the United States.
(Immigration Justice Team Members are Jill McNamera, Ruth Ann Berkholtz, Paul Patenaude, Baxter Richardson, Ann Haase Kehl, Mark Bauman (MMC), Carol Shank (MMC), and Ruthanne Landsness (chair), plus honorary Sunday muscles of George Nestler, Jim McNamera, Peter Hoff, and transportation specialists Steve Sheets and Cindy Fillingame).
Update: The Tucson Arizona Daily Star covered the delivery with a picture and a short story. We received a note of thanks from Margaret Felici-gessner saying “I’m thrilled to share this page from the today’s Arizona Star highlighting the delivery of our clothing drive to Casa Alitas in Tucson. Peggy Gessner, Clothing Coordinator at Casa Alitas, is hoping that this coverage will spark clothing drives from Tucson area churches. The text of the article isn’t correct – we delivered 45 boxes of clothes rather than 25 – but ‘no problem.’ “