Abriendo Puertas with St. Francis

From Meredith Rataj:

As a supporter/partner/friend of St. Francis, I wanted to let you know what we’ve got going on with our new initiative called Abriendo Puertas, so below is an email I recently sent to our Adopt a Family for Christmas donors that you may also find helpful, especially as people may be asking you, “How can I help?”

This summer we have seen the families coming in the front doors of St. Francis Community Services reflect what we are all reading about in the front page news and on our social media feeds.  We and our other immigrant service provider partners are welcoming people from around the world.  At St. Francis, we are focusing our efforts and expertise on new arrivals coming from the southern border.  I’m reaching out to you because while we at St. Francis can do our part in helping connect people to services and walk them through some of the first steps of settling in to their new city, we really need your help to provide 25 families (and counting) with household and hygiene essentials.  We have created the Abriendo Puertas initiative to “open a door” for our new neighbors by delivering these housewarming items on September 11th.  Here are some ways you can be involved:

Donate & Sponsor:

At the bottom of our Abriendo Puertas webpage, you can make a tax-deductible donation on the secure form to sponsor an entire family’s household needs or purchase beds for newly-arrived family members.  Your contribution will not only allow the families to furnish their new home but will also help provide for the supportive services of bilingual staff as well as delivery of families’ furnishings.  (And spoiler alert for those of you are thinking of emailing me to ask what the most needed item for families is right now:  It’s beds!)  If you typically come together as a family, friend group, or office at the holidays to adopt a family, this could be your end-of-summer way to connect with those people and work together for a good cause.

Purchase Individual Items:

You can also purchase individual items from our Target registry (before Labor Day, Sept. 6th to allow for shipping time) to help a newly arrived family establish their home.  If you are ordering online, the delivery address will auto-populate at check-out so you can have your purchase shipped to us.  If you’re shopping in person at the Target store (for the millionth time this week to get all the things you forgot to buy on your last Target run, like me!), you can find the registry in Target’s “Housewarming” registry list using First Name: St Francis, Last Name: Community Services.  You can text me at 314.960.6362 or email me to arrange a drop-off at our office (or at my house if it’s more convenient) before September 11th.


Throughout this effort, our staff members need help organizing and distributing household items to families. You can sign up to lend a helping hand.  We especially need volunteers on September 1st  from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at our office to organize donations and on September 11th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm to make deliveries.  You don’t even need to stay for the whole time for our big Abriendo Puertas delivery day—you can grab some deliveries and go!  You can also indicate on the sign-up form if you have a truck and would be willing to help us pick up and deliver furniture on a day to be determined.

Please also help us spread the word about Abriendo Puertas—forward this email, share our Facebook post, or suggest it to friends who are asking (like mine are) how they can help.

Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, and thank you for being such a welcoming community!


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