Saturday, April 21, 2012


Volunteers - check your calendar and email for info on a dinner at Heather's on Sunday, April 22, 2012.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Updates for Apirl 14th, 2012

"Esperanza has secured a job at Tyson (thanks to Marlys Hughes, who took her to Tyson for her interview to her physical exam).  The problem is that they were only offering the third shift, so she has to be there from 3:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.  Jimy works the first shift, so we are looking for a Car and ride temporarily in case she doesn't find someone over the weekend.  She has to be there this coming Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for orientation and will begin work on Friday.  Do any of you know someone who could help her out? 

    Other than that things are going well.  

Jimy has a raise, Alexis got his 9-month vaccines at Peoples Clinic. the April rent got paid (thanks to the fund-raising efforts of Carl and Tom), both ladies are working on their English and received crochet and knitting needles as well as yarn from Donna Davis.  Marlys continues to take Marlena to the Food Bank every month.

    Thanks to all the volunteers!"                

Clara Hudson

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New times for English classes!

English classes are changing to Monday and Thursday at 2:30 with an occasional Friday morning if we need it.  Marlena has trouble juggling baby feeding and care in the mornings; if we go to afternoon, Jimy will be home to entertain Alexis while we work. 
Marlys will continue to take care of trips to the Food Bank - she will take Marlena April 2.

Thank you all!

P.S. Remember to let me or Kathy know about events so we can put them on the calendar.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Updates!

Alexis is now "sitting pretty" in his new high chair (thanks to Neal)         

Marlena and Esperanza are progressing well with their English skills.  

Marlys and Clara are are still working with them on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.       

Marlys is taking Marlena to the Food Bank - the next date is April 2.     

Clara accompanied Esperanza and Ruby to conferences at Hoover Middle School.  

Ruby is doing a great job at school and earning high marks.  She also accompanied Jimy and Armando to West High and got the same good news about Armando's marks.  He recently prepared and delivered a presentation on the state of Wisconsin.     

Holly Hudson has joined our volunteer group.  She works for the Courier and writes a weekly column.  She is investigating cultivating a community plot and sharing with the Gomez family.  The landlord has given permission to plant a small garden at the house which will be easier to tend if Esperanza is working.     

Kelly Hudson is donating a bicycle for Armando, and I might have a source for a girls bike for Ruby.  =)     

Kathy is being kind enough to help me get some skills on the computer and, of course, taking care of the website and the calendar.     

Jimy is getting a drivers license, and Emily has done a great job with the health insurance. so the family can rest easy on that issue.    

 I know I haven't mentioned everyone and everything, but I will be adding more soon. 


Welcome to our new coordinator

I have recently taken over the position of volunteer coordinator for the Gomez family.  I am also a retired teacher and am working with members of the family to facilitate their English learning and translating when necessary. I am amazed by the wonderful work everyone has done and continues to do.  Thanks to Heather Flory who was the original coordinator; her leadership is much appreciated. Clara Hudson     (

Monday, February 6, 2012

In the last few weeks...

1/17/12 - The family received a donated washing machine! Thank you Trish for the donation, and Roger and Cindy for transport and installation!

1/23/12 - Jimy started work at his new job at Tyson's!

1/24/12 - Green Iowa Americorps weatherized the family home - find out more about this excellent organization by clicking here (also at links above):

1/24/12 - abUSed screening at UUSBHC (see post below)

2/1/12 - Meeting at UUSBHC regarding the family and continued needs... more help has arrived! Thank you to Tom, Emily, Arleen, Carl, and Clara for stepping up with additional help. Our next meeting is 2/8/12 at 6:30pm for those interested in joining us. See UUSBHC link above for address of meeeting location.

abUSed screening: 1/24/12 - Thank you Luis Argueta!

Dinner and Homework in January

Friday, January 27, 2012

Courier Article and more!

So much has happened this week! I'll post more later, but here are a few highlights:

1) The event on Tuesday (1/24) went great! We raised a little money for the family, but most importantly we have several more people interested in helping the family, mostly from the Mennonite church
2) The Waterloo Courier wrote an article about Jimy and family in yesterday's (1/26/12) newspaper. It's also available online here:
3) If you are interested in helping the family, please join us this Wednesday, Feb 1, at 6:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Society at 3912 Cedar Heights Drive in Cedar Falls.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Movie Screening
abUSed: The Postville Raid
Tuesday, January 24, 7-9pm
3912 Cedar Heights Drive,
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

The event
Critically acclaimed director Luis Argueta will host a screening of his immigration film abUSed: The Postville Raid on Tuesday, January 24, at 7pm. Refreshments will be served. Free will donations will benefit the Jimy Gomez family (see below).

abUSed: The Postville Raid presents the human face of immigration, the socioeconomic forces which fuel it, and serves as a cautionary tale against government abuses. The film weaves together the personal stories of those directly affected by the most brutal, most expensive, and largest Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid in the history of the U.S.

Jimy Gomez and family: (this blog!)
One of the families affected by the Postville raid, the Gomez family arrived in the U.S. in December on a “u-visa”, and will be at the event to answer questions.   

The host organization:
As part of the national Unitarian Universalist Association “Standing on the Side of Love” campaign, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County has helped the Gomez family settle into their new home in Waterloo, IA. The UUSBHC now invites other local churches, organizations, and individuals to help with the family’s ongoing needs.                      

Questions about the event? E-mail

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Dinner Table Makes it Home

Tonight after taking the Gomez family grocery shopping (courtesy of the NE IA Peace & Justice Center - see link above), I had the pleasure of joining them for dinner around their "new" dining room table. Before today, they were using a card table which I had loaned them temporarily, and which only seated four people at a time. Today, thanks to Mary Kay (from UUSBHC - see link above), the family now has a table that can seat 10 people... the family of currently 6 people, plus a few guests! 

Now, I apologize to anyone who has given items and hasn't received personal acknowledgement - there has been so much support that there's no way I can keep track of it all (Donna, Roger, and Cindy, to name a few), and the family is so incredibly appreciative of everything that they're received. Their house is almost completely furnished (we could still use a couple more beds and dressers). However, I hope you'll all understand that this table is special.

With the addition of a table at which the entire family can sit together and have a meal, the Gomez house transformed into a home. Rubi (13) sat on one end of the table, showing English alphabet flash cards to Marlene (18), who sat at the other end of the table with Alexis (7 months). Marlene can't go to school during the day like Rubi does, but she gets to learn some English in the evenings by helping with homework. Jimy (18) and Armando (17) sat next to me. Esperanza (mom) worked busily to prepare plates and bring them out to us. It was a welcoming, homey feeling.

Thank you all for your help in making the Gomez family feel at home. This new space is, for them, only the beginning of an exciting and wonderful adventure. In spite of being separated from dad and younger brother, who are still in Guatemala, they are happy, gracious, and grateful - a warm addition to any home, especially their own.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Moving Day was a Success!

The Gomez family moved into their new home on Monday, January 2 as scheduled.
Huge thanks to Roger and Cindy (not shown) for their help and their van, to Erin for her help and her sandwiches, and to all of the people who donated furniture, clothes, other items for the home, and money. Although the family has moved, they are still in need of lots of help, including money for FOOD and rides around town. Because of their u-visa status, they are not eligible for food stamps! Also, an enormous THANK YOU to the NE IA Peace & Justice Center in Decorah (see link above) for paying the first month's rent and deposit on the house.

If you would like to meet the family and help them out, please see our wish list (link above) and e-mail me at 

Rubi cleans up to make
room for more stuff.
Heather and Erin
lend a hand moving
Armando opens a new

Jimy, Armando and Esperanza
put their new couch in place

Jimy, Marlene & Alexis's
room starts to take shape.

Sooooo many bags of clothes to sort through.
Thank you all for your donations!