Residents and visitors to Rocky Point have abundant volunteering opportunities. An annual subscription to the Rocky Point Times will reveal the majority of options, because either the organization or individuals who volunteer with organizations will often write an article once a year. Donations are needed at each organization as well. It is best to donate materials rather than cash.
A few that we have worked with over the past few years are listed here with some ideas of timing, needs for donations, and how to connect with the managers:
#1. 2 Fish Ministries. Part of a Rocky Point church ministry, this feeding program began a few years ago on Boulevard Kino. From Benito Juarez, turn east close to where the railroad tracks cross at the south end, onto Kino. Go about two blocks. On the right is a chain-link fenced property with 2 Fish signs, tables and a tiny cooking casita.
WHEN: Monday to Friday from l0 am someone is onsite, preparing food. From 1 to 2 pm, additional opportunities at this site are open to those wanting to serve food and help with clean-up.
WHAT: 2 Fish serves meals to the hungry. Some may be homeless, some may be migrants, most are either out of work, or not making ends meet with the work they have. The majority are adult males, but you will also see some mothers and children, families, elderly, etc.
HOW LONG: You may arrive as 2 Fish opens and stay til they wind up their work; or help for an hour or two.
ADDITIONAL INFO: 2 Fish has also begun serving lunch to children at the city’s most economically deprived schools. In order to commit to serving a school, Margarita, the manager, is interested in finding a couple who will work one school, five days a week, all the school year. It is not feasible to have occasional volunteers, for the children, staff and families need to know who is serving, and that it is a regular event. At present they are able to serve only one school, because of lack of volunteers for the entire school year for more schools.
Margarita’s husband, Pastor Noe, is active in this ministry, as well as serving a local congregation. If you are able to make a donation but not volunteer, this organization always is in need of 20 to 40 pound sacks of rice and beans. They have additional needs – check with Margarita. Margarita and Pastor Noe speak little English; but they understand quite a bit and English-speaking volunteers are often around to help with translating.
#2. Casa Hogar (Nursing Home).
Where: Av. Miguel Hidalgo and Josefa Ortiz de Dominquez intersections. From Boulevard Fremont look for road signs to Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez. Not every intersection is well-marked. This facility is fully fenced, on the SW corner of the intersection, and has a sign. Lovely nuns from Mexico operate this, and the director speaks sufficient English.
Volunteering: Opportunities do exist to visit with the elders, sing for them, serve food, help clean, etc. However, for privacy and safety reasons, it is best to first meet with the director and get acquainted and be sure of what level of comfort they have. Residents and their needs change from time to time.
Donations: This residence is often in need of case-loads of adult diapers, paper goods (toilet paper, etc), food to feed up to 40 including staff. Ask the director about these needs also. She lives on site and leaves only once a day for an hour or so to take care of errands.
#3. Pet Abandonment.
This is a big challenge. Different organizations serve animals that have been abandoned. Dog and cat food is always needed. Check with the organizations in this newspaper for details. There are good vets in Rocky Point, should you decide to consider adopting a pet and taking it to the US. You’ll need shots and a travel certificate to get the animal into the US. The local vets know what is needed as this occurs dozens of times each year at each veterinarian’s office.
#4. Life along the Railroad Tracks.
If you’ve never spent a day visiting people who create a house from building materials which others take to the dump, try this one day.
WHERE: Boulevard Fremont, heading north to the RR tracks, for example, or off the main highway into town as it becomes B. Juarez – turn onto Boulevard S. Ocaña heading west. As you approach the RR tracks, go either right or left. Park about 10 – 20 houses in from the main road. Be sure that you are facing the houses that are made of a large variety of left-over building materials, small, usually no electricity or water.
SUPPLIES: Take 6 loaves of bread, and about 100 pieces each of bologna and cheese. Butter or mayo and knives to spread it. Napkins. Paper cups and a 5 gallon water jug.
HOW: Open the back lid of your SUV, or a door of your car when you arrive, and start making sandwiches. One of you can stop at any house where someone is outside and offer a freshly made sandwich and water. I’ve never had any one refuse, and have done this for years with hundreds of families.
VISIT WITH THEM: Ask them how long they have lived at this home, where they are from, how old the children are. They enjoy visiting and appreciate your generosity.
BENEFIT: You’ll see a side of life that you may never see elsewhere. The people are just like you, and they appreciate the chance to talk with you and enjoy a freshly made sandwich.
DONATIONS: Most anything you have that is clean and in working order is of value as a donation here. If they personally do not need it, they can trade your donation for something others have.
#5. Rocky Point Times.
Read this monthly publication and you’ll see over time many more events, organizations and ways you can donate or volunteer to do some good. You will make friends and appreciate others more for what they are doing as well.
Author: Linda Sharp. M.Ed., is a contributing writer for the Rocky Point Times. She lives in Ajo, AZ and is in Rocky Point several times a year, most often bringing small groups of visitors who also like to volunteer. Linda works with seniors who are downsizing, moving into assisted living, and adults with memory loss. She copyrights her articles. For reprint info contact the author: Lsharp@alaska.net