Barbara Gabioud singlehandedly enlists support for border groups

Barbara Gabioud (right) and her supporters filled this vehicle with supplies to assist programs helping people in need in Mexico. Melissa Reyes (left), Border Partners’ General Manager, welcomes her recent contribution.

This woman deserves our recognition! One of Border Partners’ long time supporters, Barbara Gabioud, has for the last year, consistently organized major support on the border. Her donations uphold a shelter for migrant asylum-seekers in Palomas. In addition, she helps other groups doing humanitarian assistance in Mexico.

Every week she writes to her list of donors. In the beginning, she contacted members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Silver City, NM. But now her expanded donor list includes people from all over the world.

Weekly, Barbara communicates items that are immediately needed. Usually she asks for rice, black beans, eggs, water and masks. But sometimes the items are larger. Last week, for instance, she asked for a washing machine and a microwave. And, amazingly, all the items are delivered on Wednesdays to the parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist church building in Silver City. On the following days, Barbara and other volunteers travel to transport and deliver the needed supplies.

The shelter for migrants in Palomas is located on the same piece of village property where Border Partners has its community greenhouses and education center. In fact, the migrant shelter uses some of the vegetables from our greenhouses for meals. Their kitchen is in the building where Palomas OIlcloth Designs worked every week from 2009-2014.

People support her with cash contributions too. These Barbara uses to purchase supplementary food or pay expenses for the migrant center. In addition, she’s helped Border Partners and other groups. In these last months, their generosity has reached Colores United, People Helping People, Seguimos Adelante (Ciudad Juarez), Rio Grande Border Ministries (Las Cruces, NM), Border Servant Corps and Kino Border Initiative (Nogales, AZ).

Two weeks ago, Barbara delivered 200 masks, 30 surgical gowns, lots of hand sanitizer and some bleach to the Border Partners’ promotoras for distribution to people in Palomas.

Barbara says, with characteristic humility:

I have been humbled this past year at the generosity of people and, even more, by the need people have to demonstrate kindness and compassion.”

You can see photos of the donations being distributed on our Flickr account