What We Do
It’s easy to identify the needs of the poor when you live with them. That’s the way it is in Douglas, Arizona, which is steps away from the poorest of the poor in Agua Prieta, Mexico. Some call this situation a Refuge Camp. The contrast is startling, as all United States and Mexican visitors note when they arrive at the Wings of Angels Sonoran Crisis Intervention Clinic. There at the clinic door when it opens once each month and twice weekly for followup and medicines, dozens of Mexicans of all ages are waiting, some unable to walk, many visibly diseased, others suffering from malnutrition or injuries from gunshots or accidents. (Most of all is the horror of missing limbs from diabetes)! Some have come hundreds of miles from the interior of Mexico. The clinic’s volunteer staff includes medical doctors and nurses from both sides of the border. They provide medical and dental treatments, medications, formulated milk, diapers, and physical therapy and more. Visitors watch as disabled children and adults alike are fitted and placed in wheel chairs or provided other equipment at no cost as relatives cry with gratitude. It is here, too, that the process is started to seek the donated services of surgical and other medical specialists in Arizona and other states to save lives and sometimes to make life livable for amputees and disfigured children and adults. Many visitors are inspired to help when they see for themselves the people in need. It’s a good thing to give of time, services, and money to people you know.
A purpose of the Wings of Angels Foundation is to help Mexicans bring better lives to themselves in their own country. The founders knew their Mexican neighbors as people who loved Mexico and wanted to remain there. Yet, they also knew that many of them wanted what United States citizens took for granted. Defying danger, many of them tried then and still try to cross the border. They want to live the good life in the U.S., yet they promise to return as often as possible and send money to their families. Some do. The Wings of Angels volunteers know those left behind are among the hundreds of thousands of people remaining in a real world of the hungry, those without electricity, without toilets and tubs, without medical care, even tools to help themselves and their families. That’s what the founders of the Wings of Angels have intended from the beginning to do something about.
A purpose is also to help Douglas and Agua Prieta families who want their children to respect their border neighbors whose lives they share in so many ways. The Angels adopted this purpose that calls for ongoing projects allowing children on both sides of the border to intermingle in positive ways, such as sharing sports and cultural activities that expose them to the rewards of mutual interests and friendships for the future.
A purpose also is to motivate other border communities in the United States to start similar programs to improve the lives of the poor and poorest of the poor in the Mexican border areas near them. The Wings of Angels know that words alone won’t work like personal contact. Visits to the all-important Wings of Angels Intervention Clinic and talks with Wings of Angels volunteers are encouraged. From such visits, you may well return to your own border communities with a personal commitment to act.