Loose Change Collections

SJM and the parish support the following ministries through your donations.
An average collection of $700-$1000 per month has been continuous for twelve years.

On July 19, 2017, five members of the Social Justice Committee visited the organizations that St. Martin of Tours parishioners support in Tijuana through the loose change collection on the first Sunday of the month.

Luisa Dunn, our invaluable drive and translator, Jerry & Mary Jo Crouch, Anne Pacheco and Bridget Slatten visited Responsibility, Casa de los Pobres, Casa de Migrante, Instituto Madre Asunta and Hogar Infantil. We were welcomed at each site and had tours at each facility. All of us were impressed with every organization, as they help the poorest of the poor, the abandoned, the immigrants and refugees.


For over 30 years their schools have given more than 6,000 children who live in and near Tijuana’s vast municipal garbage dumps a horizon beyond the smell, flies, and refuse.

Felipe welcomed our group and explained that it was a field trip day for the children and they would be coming soon. This is part of the summer camp that our parish has contributed to in the past. The facility was clean, children sit in chairs – no desks, 3 computers were available and some books. A primary school was built by the government next door and the children, after graduating preschool & kindergarten attend there. Children in both schools are fed a meal each day from donations that come from various churches and the community. Local volunteers assist daily and even those disabled or very old, benefit from these meals. Parents still work at the dump however “the working dump” is now located in east of Tijuana.
More Photos from Responsibility

Casa de los Pobres
Casa de los Pobres
The name means “House of the Poor” in Spanish. It was originally founded in 1957 by Franciscan Sisters in the Colonia Altamira neighborhood of Tijuana, Mexico. For more than 50 years, Casa de los Pobres has served the “poorest of the poor” in Tijuana.
Casa de los Pobres is located close to downtown Tijuana. Seminarian Sean Barry met with our group. He is from the mid-west and was volunteering for the summer at the “casa” and is hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe parish.

He took us to the clinic, gave us an update on the work of the Franciscan sisters. The Casa serves thousands of meals each month.

June 2017 stats:

  • 21,565 people of all ages were served hot meals in the Dining Room
  • Many people received handouts of food daily
  • 1,350 General Medical Clinic and prescriptions filled
  • 2,050 bags of groceries were given
  • 1,680 families obtained clothes and house supplies
  • 386 people personally attended in Social Service office
  • Groups came to do haircuts
  • 26 Scholarship aids

Additional Information of Interest:

Many of our diocesan schools (including St. Martin’s) contribute to the Halloween candy collection for Casa de los Pobres. The candy is collected by the Alumni of Notre Dame.

The candy becomes a part of the Christmas distribution at the Casa. The Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Queen of Peace coordinate an annual Christmas distribution where 1,500 impoverished families receive a chicken, rice, beans, canned vegetables and fruit, and a bag of candy to make the festivities a little sweeter. Families also receive blankets, jackets, shoes and toys for the children.
More Photos from Casa de los Pobres

Casa del Migrante

Casa del Migrante en Tijuana, A.C. was founded in 1987, and is a faith-based non-profit temporary shelter run by the Scalabrinian Priests. The facility provides assistance to men who have been deported back to Mexico from the United States. Oftentimes these men return Tijuana with no money and no way to get back to their home. They receive 3 meals a day, a shower, clean clothing, and are allowed to stay at the center for up to 12 days. The center also provides medical care, counseling, resources for job training and placement, and spiritual guidance.

A controversial issue at best for some …. we at St. Martin’s opened our minds and hearts to the migrant. Father Pat Murphy spoke at our Lenten Speaker Series (2017) and we learned the plight of the migrants. Though we are not in their shoes, we have compassion and this is where we can begin to help. During this tour, we also learned of the Institute Madre Asunta two doors down the street that assists women and children who have been deported.
More Photos from Casa del Migrante

Hogar Infantil La Gloria

Hogar Infantil La Gloria is an orphanage located in the community of La Gloria in Tijuana. It serves as the full time home for children placed by the Mexican Government Social Services Agency known as DIF. While in the care of Hogar Infantil, the children are provided with a quality education, psychological attention, as well as a safe and secure environment in which to develop and grow.We were greeted by one of the employees who was happy to show us the facility. There were 11 babies (2 years and younger) that had been abandoned and left in control of the Mexican government. The government decides which orphanage they will go to among the 11 or 12 in La Gloria. In addition to the babies, twenty children between the ages 3-16 live here. Speaking for our group, we could have taken all of them home with us.
More Photos from Hogar Infantil La Gloria

Instituto Madre Asunta, A.C.

Mission: Centro Madre Asunta practices the teaching of Jesus Christ which is to love thy neighbor as our selves and to see the face of Christ in each migrant that is helped. The facility is run by the Scalbrinian Missionary Sisters.
Number Served: 600 per year.

The Center was the first in Tijuana to establish a method of providing dignified assistance to women and children who have been displaced after deportation from the United States or are migrating from central Mexico. The Center provides three meals per day, clothes, shoes, legal assistance, psychological care, spiritual and medical assistance, as well as access to phones. The Center has been in existence for 17 years and has helped 17,000 migrant women and children.

Walking two doors down from Casa del Migrante, we were greeted by Sister Adelia Contini, Director of the facility. She welcomed us and gave us a tour. As like the rest of our stops, the facility was immaculate. They were preparing lunch for the women and children which also included husbands that had been deported and staying at Casa del Migrante.

Our committee is considering 75% of the loose change collection to Casa del Migrante and 25% to go to the Instituto Madre Asunta, A.C.
More Photos fromk Instituto Madre Asunta. A.C.

Thank you letters from organizations your loose change has helped.

“Santa Letters”
Thank you to all the parishioners who donated “loose change” to fulfill the “Santa Letter” requests of the children who live in the surrounding area around Responsibility. Social Ministry members, Denise Pippin and Dennis Andolsek gave the check to Director, David Lynch on Dec. 4 for $933.00!
He stopped by the school to pick up the “Santa” gifts and shared the story how he began Responsibility. Our school, youth group and preschool filled 41 Santa letters from children who live around the Tijuana dumpsite. Thank you to all those who made donations for these children.