Children at St. Martin's, Davis, help neighbors

Children at St. Martin's, Davis, help neighbors

Every Spring, about 64 migrant farm-worker families take up residence in the Davis Migrant Center. While the children and youth attend the public schools in Davis, there is a real need for homework support and enrichment programs for them. For the past several years, a group of volunteers led by Natalia Deeb-Sossa, an associate professor of Chicano/a Studies at UCD, has brought such programming to the Davis Migrant Center. This summer Natalia plans to lead a photojournalism project for the young people at the migrant center.

St. Martin's, Davis, has made it their Lenten Project to collect money to help finance the photojournalism project and to also collect in-kind donations for other programs for children and youth at the Davis Migrant Center.

"We have actively been trying to incorporate families, children, and those who cannot always donate funds into these justice ministries. In this instance, the cross with tags [pictured above] acts as a sort of a wish tree. People can take a tag and donate the art supplies on it," said Heather Celia Baugh, who helped implement the project.

"Our Sunday school kids helped decorate the cross with the understanding this would support the Lenten project, and discussed what their peers might be experiencing out at the migrant center." 

This Lenten project ties into St. Martin's larger attempt to help support two asylum-seeking families, and although immigration and the issue of separated families is a serious one, it's one St. Martin's believes children should be involved in. "They understand some kids were separated from family at our border, and they want to help those kids and any immigrants here in our community feel like they belong and are loved by St. Martin's," said Baugh.

Rector the Rev. Dr. Pamela Dolan said, "Every time we can include children in a concrete, participatory way in the work of the church, we are furthering the kingdom of God. It is so important for them to learn through our example, not just through our words, and to know from a very young age that they are full members of the parish and that their contributions matter.

Sometimes their ideas about how to reach out to those on the margins of our society are even more insightful than our own. Almost always, reaching out in compassion seems to come naturally to most children and can inspire the rest of us to do more and be better."

If you'd like to help, please make out checks to St. Martin's in Davis, with “Lent Project” in the memo line.

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