Southern border heroes

SAN BENITO — Decade after decade, La Posada Providencia has been lending a hand to those fleeing their countries in search of a better life.

Recently, the shelter received the Champions for Change Award from the Church World Service, a global faith-based organization created in 1946.

La Posada Providencia, along with The Holding Institute Community Center and Angry Tias & Abuelas of the Rio Grande Valley, received the award at the annual Benefit for Change ceremony held Nov. 7 in New York City at the Museum of Chinese in America.

According to Church World Service representatives, the annual ceremony is held in celebration of those fighting for the rights of immigrants and refugees and the transformation of communities around the world through just and sustainable means.

“I am honored and grateful La Posada Providencia received this award,” executive director Magda Bolland said. “It feels nice to be recognized for your work because sometimes, like with everything you do, you feel like what you’re doing is not enough so it’s nice to be reminded of, from another perspective, the good work you’re doing.”

According to Church World Representatives, groups like La Posada Providencia were selected to honor their tireless work in supporting asylum seekers along the southern border.

Bolland said families that stay at La Posada have often been detained after crossing the border.

“They have little more than the clothes on their backs and have not felt safe or cared for a very long time,” she said. “We are here to be their support system and to do everything we can to help them start over.”

When asked what she believes makes La Posada stand out from other shelters, Bolland said it was La Posada Providencia’s “family” environment.

“When we receive a guest, they’re welcomed into our family,” she explained. “We’re like a bridge that gives them the help they need to get where they want to be.”

Bolland said what also makes the shelter stand out is its ability to learn how to better serve their guests and connect them with the services they need.

“Every meal, every phone call and every connection we can make for them makes a difference,” Bolland said. “I thank Church World Service for this recognition. Their friendship is a powerful asset in continuing this vital work.”

MORE INFO

WHAT IS LA POSADA PROVIDENCIA?

• It’s a ministry, sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence, for people in crisis from around the world who are seeking legal refuge in the U.S.

• La Posada Providencia provides clients with shelter, food, local transportation and supportive services such as ESL lessons and assistance to help navigate the immigration process and resettlement.

• It was founded in 1989 and is located at 30094 Marydale Road in San Benito.