Eloy Detention Center Christmas Card Project

October 14, 2021

Looking for a hands-on mission project for your children, youth, family, or congregation to do for the 2021 Holidays? Send cards to asylum seekers at Eloy Detention Center!

This project is simple but very meaningful because it will provide some 5000 asylum seekers (many of whom are children) in detainment at Eloy Detention Center in Eloy, Arizona with the only Christmas present they are going to receive.

This project is undertaken in partnership with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project which provides free legal and social services for adults and children in immigration.  FIRRP hopes that every detainee will receive a greeting! They successfully achieved their goal last year. We are blessed to be able to help them make their goal this year!

This project is the direct application of the maxim “it’s the thought that counts” because in addition to a holiday greeting and lots of cheerful images you are asked to include the message (in Spanish):” Do not be discouraged. You are not forgotten or “No se desanime. No esta olvidado.!”  Before you begin, please note, that the flat, unsealed cards and envelopes must be sent to the person collecting the cards for us before the middle of November: Karen Kohl, 2130 Leisure World, Mesa, AZ 85206.

How To Get Started:

  1. First, decide whether you want to recycle your old Christmas cards or make your own simple cards from scratch. If you are recycling, please carefully cut off the front of old Christmas or seasonal greeting cards and decorate the back side of them with your comforting seasonal message or doodles (Note: no stickers or embellishments of any kind are allowed)
  2. If you want to make your own cards, please make copies of the simple Christmas tree designs offered at right and decorate them colorfully with crayons or markers (again, no stickers, sparkles or any embellishments allowed!). If you make your own cards using our models, please note that the design basically creates two cards to a 8 ½ by 11 page (when folded over) Again, the uplifting seasonal message plus a message of compassion and care is what is really important.  (See examples below, written in both English and Spanish)
  3. Then, purchase plain white envelopes which will fit your cards (you may need to trim down large recycled cards to fit standard envelopes.)
  4. Feel free to decorate the envelope itself or its edges with joyful images or doodles BUT BE SURE THAT YOU LEAVE THE TOP THIRD (or at least one inch) OF THE ENVELOPE BLANK so that members of the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (https://firrp.org/) can write in the name and alien registration number of each person prior to distribution. NO STAMPS are allowed and the envelopes must remained OPEN.
  5. Last but not least, you are invited to make some sort of fun insert such as a picture your child has colored with a first name and age on it;  a photograph of a (unnamed) group of people smiling and waving to say “you are not forgotten,” photos of some pretty flowers, animals or a  beautiful landscape.

Questions?:  Contact Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, sstanley@dhm.disciples.org or 202-957-7826.