Volunteer Opportunities

Dear Prospective Volunteers,

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Humane Borders. We are so grateful for the time and energy that volunteers pour into our organization: Without them we could scarcely function. We also appreciate the important role that out-of-state volunteers perform in raising awareness in their hometowns of the nightmare reality of so many migrant desert deaths, and of the causes and conditions that compel people to risk their lives crossing the border and deadly desert environs into the U.S.

However, due to the increasing potential of the spread of the COVID 19 virus, we are placing a moratorium on volunteer applications, and at this time, we are not accepting volunteers from out of state and the immediate Tucson area. The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus a global pandemic, and here in the U.S. and the world at large, we have not witnessed the worst of it yet. We at Humane Borders aim to do our part in staunching the spread of the virus by limiting social contact and as best we can, keeping people safe.

In the meantime, we remain dedicated to our mission of preventing migrant desert deaths and humanizing the border. At present, we are utilizing a small base of volunteers who are taking weekly trips into the desert to service the 48 different water stations that we maintain along the border. Again, we remain absolutely committed to providing life-saving water to migrants who continue to flee violence in their home countries, and who make the harrowing journey across the border.

We hope that you will remember Humane Borders with a financial contribution to help us maintain our efforts, and that you will plan on volunteering with our organization at a later date.

In the meantime, we pray that you and your families are kept safe.

Warm Regards from All of Us at Humane Borders.

Weekly Meetings
humane-borders-sign-upEvery Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.(except for Thanksgiving and Christmas week), the Humane Borders family -- including staff members, volunteers, and our board chair -- meets at our headquarters at 243 West 33rd Street in South Tucson. After an opening prayer and introductions if necessary, we discuss the work done the week before. We celebrate our modest victories and analyze the problems we’ve encountered. We learn of upcoming events of interest and hear reports of missing migrants being searched for by their families. We examine the state of our relationships and contacts with government officials, including federal land managers and the Border Patrol. There is also the opportunity to sign up for future water runs. If you are thinking of becoming a volunteer, going to one of our meetings is the best way to get acquainted and get started.

Water Runs
Our water runs are regularly scheduled trips, leaving from Tucson, Phoenix, and Ajo to our water stations in the Sonoran Desert. The runs usually start at 6 A.M., and last for a few hours up to most of the day, depending on the route being serviced. We check our water barrels and fill them when necessary from the 300-gallon tank on each truck. We maintain and replace when needed, the blue flags that alert migrants to the stations. We test the water for particulates, as required by our permits, view it to ensure that it isn’t polluted by algae, and taste it to make sure it’s readily potable. If we discover vandalism of our stations, we make repairs. We pick up items such as worn-out clothing and shoes and empty water bottles discarded by migrants.

Our trucks are air-conditioned, and hold four (five in a pinch) volunteers. We suggest that volunteers on water runs wear sturdy footwear such as hiking boots, a hat, and sunglasses. Work gloves are helpful. It’s a good idea for volunteers to bring water for personal use and something to munch on. A good sense of humor is something that will definitely come in handy.

Be prepared on water runs to experience the camaraderie felt by Humane Borders volunteers. You will meet new people from wildly varying backgrounds and viewpoints, united in a common desire to help the desperate, often vilified fellow human beings making the perilous desert crossing. We are united in the hope that our efforts will help some migrants avoid an excruciating death by thirst and exposure, and that their paths may be safe ones.

One of the benefits of participating in water runs is the opportunity to be out in Arizona’s hauntingly beautiful, ironically deadly desert landscape. You will understand and see first-hand, as you never could just by reading a book, the hardships that migrants encounter on their crossings.

For more detail on what it's like to volunteer for a water run, download "What To Expect If You Go on a Water Run"

Volunteer Contact Information:
From Tucson:
Rebecca Fowler – info@humaneborders.org
From Phoenix:
Dan Abbott – dabbott612@yahoo.com
Lynn Moriarty – lynnmmoriarty@aol.com
From Ajo:
Rebecca Fowler – rfowler@humaneborders.org
Susannah Brown – tibareno@aol.com

Visiting Groups Welcome
We welcome visiting religious, school, and civic groups by prior arrangement with Administrative Manager Rebecca Fowler at info@humaneborders.org. Our knowledgeable volunteers and staff can help educate members of such groups on current border issues, and provide them with an experience of the challenges posed by the Sonoran Desert.

Trash Pick-Up
Some groups in the past have taken on particular projects, such as collecting migrant and other trash from the remote roads that we service. If you have such a project in mind, please feel free to contact us to arrange this.

Humane Borders, Inc.
P.O. Box 27024
Tucson, AZ 85726
(520) 398-5053
e-mail: info@humaneborders.org

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