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All Saints’ Border Ministries


Border Ministries is an outreach of All Saints’ Episcopal Church and is rooted in Christ’s call to welcome and serve the “stranger” among us in the asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border.

What do we do?

  • Border Ministries team members travel to various locations in South Texas to volunteer at “respite centers” where asylum-seekers receive a meal, clothing and support with arranging transportation to their sponsors.  

  • We conduct donation drives to supply the respite centers we visit with items that are urgently needed.

  • The Border Ministries’ Mercado creates “stuffies” for children at the respite centers as well as collage cards for sale that fund donations for the respite centers. The Mercado meets the first Saturday of the month at All Saints’ from 10am - 12 noon.

  • Border Ministries’ hosts educational forums to deepen our community’s understanding of a variety of topics, including the complexity of the immigration system and the entangled history of the United States and
    Central America.

  • Our team meets the 1st Monday of each month from 5:30-6:30 via Zoom to plan for upcoming events.   


For more information and to find out how you can get involved, contact us at

Volunteering at the Catholic Charities Respite Center in McAllen - April 20, 2024 


Walking the Way of Love in McAllen

Running the Catholic Charities RGV Humanitarian Respite Center takes devoted staff and volunteers willing to put in many hours a week to prepare meals, provide OTC medication and other hygiene necessities, and to be a welcoming presence to our migrant brothers and sisters seeking assistance as they continue their journey. On April 20, 2024, a group of five of us from All Saints (Ron George, Jim and Paula Childre, Donna King, and Alice Berecka) were honored to serve alongside these many dedicated individuals who keep the Center running. 

      Upon arrival, we were greeted by Pepe, who organizes the volunteers. He led us through the reception area and to the kitchen where we received our workstations from Senora Josefina, who has been in charge of the kitchen at the Center for eight years. She was proud to let us know how long she has served in this role, and then she quickly and politely gave us and the other volunteers our marching orders. Her kitchen is the model of efficiency. 

      Ron and Jim packed snack bags that travelers receive when they head out to board buses bound for the bus terminal or the airport. Alice worked in the kitchen area, slicing and bagging bread, alongside Arturo, an engineering professor who teaches at the UT Rio Grande Valley campus in McAllen. He volunteers in the kitchen one full day every week. Later, while he and Ron were washing dishes, he told Ron that he and Senora Josefina attend the same church in McAllen. 

      Josh, a student at UTRGV, translated for us and made sure we could find the supplies we needed. He volunteers at the center as part of fulfilling requirements for his History and Politics of Mexico class. He told Ron that working at the cafeteria was a better workout and more fulfilling than an afternoon at the gym. When lunch was ready, Ron and Jim served soup on the chow line to a lunch crowd of about 200 people. Alice, alongside other volunteers, distributed bread and then cookies, donuts, cake, and pan dulce when it was time for dessert. Children reached eagerly for the white cake with sprinkles and the chocolate cookies.  

      Paula and Donna spent the afternoon behind the large counter in the reception area of the Center, handing out OTC medicine, hygiene items, baby formula, and diapers from the well-organized

stocked cupboards.  At first they were nervous about handing out medication, but Pepe explained that people received only one dose at a time. After lunch the rush was on! The counter was constantly busy, but people were polite, worked with us to help us understand what they needed, and were understanding when we didn’t have something they were seeking (like deodorant or baby lotion or razors). Popular items were the shower and toothbrush kits we brought along with donated clothing items. Alice was nervous about her lack of Spanish, and the language barrier did provide some challenges, but Paula (the only native Spanish speaker in our group) helped translate as much as possible. A few people spoke languages other than Spanish; for one young man, Google translate on the phone was a lifeline. Pointing and gestures and facial expressions got the point across when all else failed. 

       Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to hand out new socks and underwear to women and children (and a few men). We also helped people find clothes from the donations that were already at the center. One woman confided in Paula, “I’ve been wearing the same clothes for three days.” A girl, probably 8 or 9 years old, came to the counter looking for clothes for her baby brother (her mom was in line at the registration counter). She ran back and forth between us and her mom several times until we finally found the right size little pants and t shirt and diapers. That time she danced back, happy with her success. 

       At the end of the day, we said goodbye to Senora Josefina, whose kitchen by that time was shining and spotless, ready for the next day’s meal preparation.  We surveyed the counter, putting items back in boxes and organizing the few items of leftover clothing. We made notes about what we need to bring with us and how we need to prepare for next time, so that we can better meet the needs of our sisters and brothers.

       We felt exhausted on the long walk back to the parking garage, overwhelmed by the level of need that we had witnessed, grateful that for this one day we were able to help just a little, and humbled by the examples of the devoted volunteers who work at the Center on a regular basis. Most of all, we felt thankful for your love and support and donations that made this journey possible. 

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