Last month I posted a random question on my Instagram story asking people what color they thought of when they thought of the word “hope.” I hadn’t really given this post much thought; it had randomly occurred to me because I was on my way to a client’s house to do art therapy. I do a color-coded emotional identification exercise with younger kids to begin to develop awareness and maturity in being able to communicate feelings. I checked the poll after my session, and I was very surprised to see how many people responded, and specifically how many people paired the color yellow with hope. The more I thought about it, the more I began to think about what it means to instill hope in people, and how we can encourage ourselves to be people that bring out that hope in others. 

Naturally, my thoughts led me to El Refugio in Tijuana, where amazing work is being done day in and day out without any major recognition.  I first saw Pastora Leticia working to serve the people of El Refugio back in December 2015, and I was immediately drawn in by her compassion. The way she looks at people, speaks to them, and how fiercely she loves on others is infectious. It’s hard not to be moved by the depths of her servitude, and I was immediately inspired to do the same. Pastora cares for the residents the way a mother cares for her child- there is simply no other way of describing what she does. With tender eyes, gentle hands, and a loving heart, she spends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week making sure that the residents are fed, clothed, and cared for. The most amazing part of it all? This work depends solely on the generosity of donors. Currently, El Refugio does not receive any type of financial assistance from the government. Pastora has shared several instances where she is unable to provide food for everyone, or pay rent, and somehow through financial gifts she is able to cover the expenses needed. The most consistent currencies that keep this place going is faith and generosity.

Knowing the type of faith that it takes to run all the home that make up El Refugio, how could I not get involved somehow? The new yellow tee in our store is devoted specifically to this cause. 35% of the purchase will go directly to help fund housing and provide meals to this amazing community. This brings me to propose to you a call to action: take a moment to reflect on the things that currently surround you. Consider your home, your family, your job, your spouse, your mode of transportation, the clothes on your back… everything you have, in some way, has been passed to you through the generosity of others. If you have the ability to read this post, you are blessed. You and I have been gifted the ability to give forward, and I encourage you to begin implementing ways to spread generosity to others, whether its by visiting someone in need, blessing someone financially, or however else. Thanks for reading. 



Lizzy MadrigalComment