Also, as I said before, images will be forth comming, so just wait & have some fun reading the news about us.
IN THEIR SHOES
Church members sleep in boxes to raise money to build Juárez home.
By Leann Holt
Journal Staff Writer
Bake sales? So old school. Carwashes? It's been done. How about sleeping outside in a cardboard box and going without food for a new twist on fund raising?
On Monday afternoon, teens and adults were hard at work erecting shelters from old refrigerator and watermelon boxes and duct tape at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Northeast Albuquerque.
Their mission is to call attention to the primitive living conditions of many people in Juárez and to raise $9,000 to build a house there later this month. It will be the fourth such trip Holy Cross members have embarked on.
After several hours in the relentless sun, their efforts produced a "condominium," complete with a semi-covered porch, a tall "house" with cut-out windows labeled "Pastor's Pad," and an assortment of unidentifiable enclosures.
The group of about 25 from four area Lutheran churches said it would rely on the kindness of church members and strangers to supply food in an effort to understand what it would be like to live in extreme poverty.
"I wasn't going to do this at first— sleep on the ground?" said 16-year-old Vallen Hutton. "But what's a night compared to living in a cardboard box? It puts it all in perspective."
The Juárez house will be built in four days with the help of the nonprofit group Casas por Cristo. In 2004, the group helped 6,000 American volunteers build 300 homes in the city.
The 437-square-foot structure will be home to a pastor, his wife and their four grown children. There will be no indoor plumbing.
The house, large by local standards, will cost $5,500 to build. The remainder of the money raised will go for travel expenses for 15 adults and 15 teens and for supplies and gifts to leave behind.
The pastor and his family now live in a makeshift shelter built from scavenged materials such as packing pallets and cardboard, said Holy Cross Pastor Erik Karas. The situation is not uncommon in Juárez.
Nancy Tarin, a 17-year-old who helped build a house in Juárez in 2002, said she was shocked by what she saw there.
"It's crazy how little these people have," she said. "They barely have running water. Here we are playing with boxes they can't even have. It's sad."
How to donateDonations to help the youth of Holy Cross Lutheran Church build a house in Juárez may be sent to 6901 Wyoming NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109. Call (505) 821-4676 for more information.