As the world watches the horrible and violent actions of Russia upon Ukraine, we can understand the mass migration of Ukrainians seeking safety. The vast majority are in neighboring countries, but with President Biden’s pledge to accept 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, San Diego will see an influx of families. Already, from the start of the crisis hundreds, mostly women and children, have been granted entry to the U.S. on an Asylum Refugee status. Many are waiting to be processed in Tijuana. (Here is a recent KPBS photo collection taken Aril 1-4, 2022.)

If you are looking for trusted entities to support, donate to, and even volunteer at, I will mention two entities for your consideration:

First, Pete Contreras and the good people of New Vision Church have opened a transitional center to be open through the beginning of June. They are receiving families at the border and are offering short-term shelter, cots, bedding, food, and transportation.  You can sign up directly with them at their website to offer assistance ranging anywhere from assisting with laundry, sanitation, food services, security and some off-site options as well.

Our friends at Vision San Diego are also directing their efforts to coordinate the scheduling of volunteers for this transitional center at New Vision. It is is easier, you can volunteer there via their Meet the Need platform.

Second, Hope for San Diego has some very practical, directed, and urgent needs to be met.

  1. Contact Susie, (Executive Director) if you are willing to host refugee families for more than two nights (and up to two weeks).
  2. Contact Abby to address a need for “portable food” like protein bars and snack food good for travelling. Also, a request for NEW flip flops. Items can be delivered to Hope for San Diego at Covenant Church in North Park between 9a-3p on weekdays.
  3. If you want to help a particular couple, Max and Elena, here is a list of items being assembled for them. 

In so many of these cases of needing to offer relief, often the best contribution is a donation. I would have no hesitation in making a contribution to any of these organizations.

A random thought as you pray: I met a Hungarian student who had recently applied for a student visa. She talked about the confusion and constant changing of immigration priorities. It occurred to me that there are so many people that are caught up in a system that is rather convoluted and politicized. It seems many who are dutifully waiting in line may be disheartened as priorities shift again. Seems like the sort of thing that could use some prayer.

Geoff Hsu
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