Bags by Blue

The Other Side of the Wall.

Looking into the United States from Tijuana, Mexico

Looking into the United States from Tijuana, Mexico

At an initial glance, it’s impossible to see the difference between either side of this wall. In one direction, just 10 minutes from this wall, I reside in Imperial Beach, California; a small beach community south of San Diego. In the other direction, 10 minutes from this wall you can find Zona Norte, the largest Red Light District in North America. If you are unfamiliar, the Red Light District is a neighborhood filled with prostitution, the sale of illicit drugs, gangs, and brothels. What is highly illegal in the United States, is seen out in the public in this neighborhood. Because of it’s proximity to the United States, it is also an area frequented for the sale of drugs, women, and children.

During the month of November, I had the opportunity to invite people to sponsor a Child in Tijuana for Christmas. I partnered with Eastlake Church Playas, and together, we had a large goal to collect 200 Cinch Sacs to fill with toys, and provide to the children at Hope Zone. Hope Zone is an organization located in the center of the Red Light District, inviting children of the community into this safe space to play, learn and be introduced to the word of Jesus. Their main hope is to provide prevention to the youth of this community, in an effort to break the cycle. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this mission and admire the couple who founded Hope Zone.

The entrance to Hope Zone- an outdoor space between two buildings, lined with barbed wire.

The entrance to Hope Zone- an outdoor space between two buildings, lined with barbed wire.

I eagerly committed to the goal of 200 cinch sacs, feeling compelled to help each and every child who enters the gates of Hope Zone. But, shortly after getting off the phone, I realized what the financial picture of 200 cinch sacs looked like. I was completely prepared to bless each and every child; what I wasn’t prepared for was how much my faith would grow. It didn’t take long to refocus and tell myself “If God gave you this, he will get you through it”. This may be the first time I can say I completely just had faith and trusted God in his vision for me. Through monetary donations, hostess credits, fellow consultants donating their own product on hand, and incentive rewards points I have earned through my Thirty-One business, I was able to collect 181 cinch sacs. I later found out that the 200 was an over-estimate, and that we would be serving approximately 140 children that day.

“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called”

This past weekend, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel down to Zona Norte and meet the children of Hope Zone, participate in their holiday party, and hand out the cinch sacs filled with Christmas Gifts. The entire event was spoken in Spanish. While my ears could not understand what they were saying, my heart felt everything that was occurring. Skin color, ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status…. none of this mattered. Children are children; humans are humans. I may not have been able to communicate verbally to these children, but I believe a simple smile is a universal language. I hope that they could feel and see the love that was being provided to them.

Amanda, the founder of Hope Zone (along with her husband) shared with us that this community is used to people coming into their community to take from them (prostitution, the sale of children, drugs) and she was incredibly grateful that we could come into the community and give to them. 10 minutes from the border. 10 minutes from the wall. As I was driving out of Zona Norte, I could see Imperial Beach, and the Coronado bridge in the distance. 10 minutes across the border is one of the wealthiest communities. And yet, 10 minutes in the opposite direction, children are being sold and purchased for sex and organs.

Amanda and her husband Jesse, founders of Hope Zone.

Amanda and her husband Jesse, founders of Hope Zone.

My hope in sharing this is to bring awareness. A reminder to be kind to others. To smile. To give, when everyone else is taking. We, in the United States, often feel we live in an ugly world. While I will admit that it can be ugly, just 10 minutes from that wall, is an unimaginable ugly, compared to what we see here. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love like Jesus did.

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Hope Zone, part of YWAM, is funded completely on donations. Every program is built completely on cash, so that their is no debt accrued. Their current space is outdoors only, and they are working on a building proposal with the vision of a 4 story building. More space, and more time to provide safety and education to these children. Please take a moment to read more about Hope Zone and consider donating.




Sponsor a child for Christmas!

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Last month, I traveled to Tijuana, Mexico with my church for a house build project. It was my first time driving across the border and going to Tijuana, which is literally a ten minute drive from my house. My initial thoughts were shock and disbelief…. disbelief that life could look so different, just ten minutes away. Spending a weekend there, and getting to know locals, it became clear just how humble and grateful they are for what they do have. They don’t focus on the things they don’t have, they find a way to make what they do have work.

A small area inside the families home with their daughter’s toys.

A small area inside the families home with their daughter’s toys.

I had the opportunity to speak with one of the Pastor’s of our churches locations in Tijuana and she told me that many of the families that attend their church live similarly. It became clear that I wanted to bless as many families as possible, and that with the holiday’s approaching, now was the perfect time.

How you can help!

During the month of November I am collecting donations to sponsor a child in Tijuana for Christmas. Your $18 donation will provide a holiday Littles Carry All Caddy filled with age appropriate gifts for the children. These caddies will be distributed to the children of Tijuana with the help from Eastlake Church Playas. Your donations can be made via PayPal to “alcardona16@gmail.com”. I have set a huge goal of 56 caddies being provided, and we are currently half way to our goal. Please join me in making a difference in a child’s life.

Hosting a FB party is as easy as 1-2-3!

Hosting a FB party is as easy as 1-2-3!

Have you ever thought about hosting a Facebook party,

but are afraid it won’t be successful?

Have you tried in the past, but no one has ordered? If you’ve answered yes to either of those questions, stop right there! It’s time we change your thinking!!! Partying on Facebook is the new craze! Why? Because it is simple! It’s fast, and dang it, it’s fun!!! What’s better then simple, fast and fun? You don’t have to clean your house, no cooking involved, and wearing a bra is optional!

Is it really that simple? The answer is YES! Here are three simple steps of hosting a successful Facebook party!

  1. Invite your friends to the Facebook event that I will create for you. This is where the fun begins! Be intentional with who you are inviting. You will not be inviting every gal on your friends list! You will select those who are interested in Thirty-One, who may already love the product (or a good deal), and those who are just downright fun friends! I will even provide you with a “script” to individually reach out to people. Easy, right!

  2. I will only be posting one time a day leading up to the event. Your friends don’t want to be spammed and bothered by notifications going off all day. One engaging post a day, that’s it! You will comment and share your excitement and enthusiasm, because it will be contagious. When your friends see you excited, they are more likely to get excited and to comment.

  3. The night of the party, you “show up” to the event, and again, share your excitement and enthusiasm by participating along with the posts. Guess what- during this half hour “live” event, I’m only posting 5 times. Again, simple and non spammy! Your friends will have the chance to win a prize, see some products live in action via video, and will be provided an EASY shopping experience unlike anything else. I do the ordering for them, they collect the deals, and you earn FREE product.

That’s it! Literally, as easy as 1-2-3! Interested in booking your own Facebook party? Let’s chat!