Champions for Change on the U.S.-Mexico Border

October 16, 2019

Sustainable change is led by local communities and passionate individuals – that’s why CWS places so much emphasis on supporting grassroots advocates.

Mike Smith talks with volunteers at the Holding Institute during the distribution of food for shelters based in Nuevo Laredo. Photo: Sean Hawkey for CWS

It’s also why we’re incredibly excited to welcome Magda Bolland, Executive Director of La Posada Providencia Respite Shelter, and Michael Smith, Executive Director of The Holding Institute Community Center, at this year’s Benefit for Change in New York City. They will be joining us as representatives of the Southern Border Shelter Network and as Champions for Change Award recipients.

Both La Posada and The Holding Institute, which are located along the U.S.-Mexico border, work with asylum seekers who have been released from detention with a notice to appear for court. That includes single parents with children, those with medical needs, pregnant women, and the elderly, and they come from all walks of life. ‘There’s a wide variety of people who arrive at our door,’ says Michael Smith. ‘Doctors, dentists, attorneys, policemen, plumbers, agricultural workers.’

Magda Bolland, Executive Director of La Posada Providencia. Photo: Sean Hawkey for CWS

La Posada provides longer-term shelter to vulnerable asylum seekers, as well as offering on-site English classes and other supportive services that help asylum-seekers take the necessary steps to achieve self-sufficiency and responsible integration into the U.S. The Holding Institute offers necessary programs to the local community, including short-term shelter for families. It also serves as a welcome resting place for those who have finished the arduous journey to the border, giving vulnerable men, women, and children a much needed feeling of safety.

These two shelters stand as bastions of humanity, serving in-need communities because we are all worthy of a safe place to call home. We’re excited to honor them, and excited for you to meet them in person. Get your tickets today.