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!