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It takes money to keep our asylum program operating, and one opportunity we have to raise funds each year is San Antonio’s Big Give.

This year, for the Big Give, we held a dinner at the church. We had great food, prize drawings, and a documentary film that featured our church’s work with asylum seekers.

By any measure, the event was a big success.

And it ended with a joyful and heart-tugging surprise.

A big part of the success was financial. We raised $8,730. For our small church, that’s a substantial sum, and all that money will go toward supporting La Casa de Maria y Marta, our ministry to support and protect women and children seeking asylum. 

The evening was also successful from an educational perspective. We had the opportunity to view a four-part documentary — Across — that features the work we’re doing with those asylum seekers. We’re proud to have been part of story told in that film. (You can purchase the documentary on the official website.)

And another part of the success could be measured in how it brought our community together in a shared effort. The food was cooked by Ramona and the women of La Casa, and the event was organized by members of the church — Mitzi, Shana, Sarah C, and Heather.

People dining at a large round table

The Big Give was a big success

We held a dinner at the church during the Big Give, and it was a big success

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As one guest, Emily Tarango-Chavez, told us, “The food was delicious, the table conversation was lovely, but most importantly, the story of the church in our community was touching. I attended the event with little knowledge on ways the church is serving our community. I left the event with a deep appreciation for the efforts the church is making to help with the immigration crisis. The church is doing more than attending to the immediate need:  they are invested in addressing the long-term trauma people are experiencing silently.”

And the surprise?

We had multiple prizes that were donated to the dinner. Guests ‘bid’ for prizes with their tickets, and we held drawings to pick each winner. One of the most exciting prizes was four nights at a bed and breakfast in the Hill Country. Everyone stuck tickets in the jar for that prize, even the women who are currently staying in La Casa, who had been given some tickets by another guest.

And who won that prize? It was our guests from La Casa.

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