2018 Holiday Drive for Migrant Families

Women Give San Diego Call to Action:  Our Holiday Drive beneficiaries have arrived in San Diego! 

Each year, Women Give San Diego chooses a beneficiary of a holiday drive for the January holiday party. This year, the Community Engagement Team decided to move this drive up due to a humanitarian crisis in our own backyard.

Every day since October 26, immigration authorities have released into San Diego 20-30 migrant families (50-70 individuals) seeking asylum at the San Diego-Tijuana Border.  The families include an average of one to two young children, ranging in age from three months to 10 years old.  These families have been tagged with ankle bracelets and are waiting for the next step in the process of asylum.  The Department of Homeland Security has quietly dropped these families at various locations throughout San Diego. The situation has left hundreds of migrants homeless on San Diego’s streets, with nowhere to go and no way of getting to their final destinations.  These families are desperately fleeing violence, suffering, and persecution in their home countries.  Many of those staying at the shelter are women with small children, seeking to re-build their lives in the U.S. and striving towards self-sufficiency.

The San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN), a coalition of human rights and service organizations, Women Give San Diego grant partner Casa Cornelia included, has worked with partners to set up an emergency migrant shelter and are responding to the needs of these vulnerable children and families by providing meals, medical care, shelter, and legal services.  Several WGSD members also work for organizations that are involved with this effort: Jewish Family Services, the ACLU, Olivewood Gardens, and more.  Once their basic needs are met, families receive one-on-one support and case management from trained staff and volunteers to help them reunite with family members in their destination cities – often a multi-day bus trip across the country.

How WGSD can help.  All members can donate the following items to locations for pick up and delivery to the shelter by December 18:


Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center (contact: WGSD CE Team member Claire Groebner, claire@olivewoodgardens.org)

2525 N Ave.

National City, CA 91950

M-F, 8am – 4:30pm (drop off at pool house towards back of the property)


4365 Executive Dr., Ste. 700 (contact: WGSD CE Team Co-Chair Sarah Tipple, SarahJtipple@gmail.com)

San Diego, CA 92121

M-F, 8am – 5pm


Leichtag Commons-The Hive/Barn 2 (contact: Makana Rowan, makana@thehivesd.org)

441 Saxony Rd

Encinitas, CA 92024

M-F, 8:30am – 5pm

There are many options to contribute!  Please send this to the group you support and likeminded friends, so we can broaden the reach and help these families on their way.  Here are the items requested:

  • $20 international calling cards (any brand)
  • Backpacks
  • Carry-on luggage
  • Beanies or winter hats
  • Gloves
  • Boys jeans/pants sizes 8-12
  • Boys underwear sizes 4T and 5T
  • Boys underwear sizes 6-8, 10-12, 12-14
  • Men’s pants, size small
  • Winter jackets all sizes
  • Leggings – women’s size small – must be stretchy enough at the ankle to get over a tracking bracelet.
  • Hangers
  • Additional items on the shelter’s Amazon Wishlist
  • Amazon gift cards available on line and in many retail locations to help fill the wish list.

Additionally, WGSD’s own Claire Groebner has been working hard to help coordinate and cook meals for the migrants – about 100 at a time. If you are interested in helping, call or text her at 858-414-2596. Meals that seem to work out best are beans, rice, tortillas, and veggies or hearty soups with potatoes, carrots, chicken – nothing with too much spice.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched by the San Diego Rapid Response Network to raise funds for the shelter to maintain its daily operation and provide basic necessities. To donate, visit GoFundMe.com/MigrantReliefSD.

Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego has established a travel fund to support cross-country travel expenses for these migrant families. To donate, visit sharejourneysd.org/families.

Thank you for your support! Let’s do this!