On the U.S.-Mexican border near Nogales, Mexico, stands a tin-roofed structure that is small in stature, but with a big mission: To provide temporary shelter and save the lives of people who are fleeing the poverty, violence and political oppression of their home countries for a better life in America.
The tin shack is the Kino Border Initiative. It’s a tiny operation that feeds some 80 people every morning and 60 people every afternoon. Very often a meal and something to drink can make the difference of life and death for these immigrants.
Immigrants face the harsh reality of crossing a dessert climate risking, scorching heat, thirst, starvation and in some cases violence from predatory people. If they are rounded up by U.S. Border Patrol, immigrants are often bused to Nogales, stripped of all their belongings and left to fend for themselves with nothing.
If it were not for organizations like the Kino Border Initiative, thousands of immigrants every year would be in serious trouble, indeed.
The Kino project operates on an extremely thin source of funding – including the sale of t-shirts and small donations. Read more: Jim Larkin | LinkedIn
That’s why the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund recently made a financial grant to Kino Border Initiative. The Larkin and Lacey Fund was founded by Arizona journalists Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
How the two news men obtained the money for the Frontera Fund is a remarkable story. It all began in 2007 when the homes of both Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey were suddenly invaded in the middle of the night by deputies of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.
The two media men were arrested and hauled off to jail under the orders of then Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The only crime the two journalists were guilty of was doing their jobs – they were publishing stories that documented the brutal and often illegal police-state tactics of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
After a public outcry, Larkin and Lacey were hastily released from jail, but they sued – and a U.S. Appeals Court awarded the men $3.7 in damages from Maricopa County. Larkin and Lacey decided that this money would be dedicated to help those who are being persecuted by Arizona cops and the U.S. Border Patrol.
Today the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund is supporting dozens of organizations that are working to save lives and help immigrants, Hispanic and Latino peoples not just in Arizona, but in many locations across the United States.
The Kino Border Initiative is just the kind of program Larkin and Lacey like to fund – a group on the front lines of saving lives and bringing comfort to desperate people who are just struggling to seek a better way of life.