Nonprofit Partners Build, Fill Homes with Essentials for Tijuana Families

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Colorado's Heaven on Earth NOW and San Diego's Casas de Luz bring dignity and comfort amid extreme hardship in Baja, Mexico

Two boys in Baja, Mexico now have a roof over their heads -- and new beds to sleep in -- thanks to nonprofit volunteers from the U.S.

“These gifts bring comfort and dignity, helping transform a house into a home.”

When a fire destroyed their Tijuana home, the Lopez – Gutierrez family had no choice but to sleep in what was left of the structure, causing the young sons to get sick from smoke inhalation. That’s when two nonprofits, Colorado-based Heaven on Earth NOW and San Diego-based Casas de Luz, swooped in, building and stocking the home with the basics needed to start over – as the organizations will do this year for 19 families experiencing hardships in their home country of Mexico.

“Most often, these families move into their new homes with next to nothing,” says Molly G. Cottrill, Executive Director of Heaven on Earth NOW. The partnership between the organizations enables volunteer groups who build the homes over the course of two days to fill them with many necessities, from new pillows and cleaning supplies to light bulbs and specialized items for each family. “These gifts bring comfort and dignity, helping transform a house into a home.” Indeed, House to Home is the name of the initiative, which the nonprofit has already introduced to 116 citizens emerging from homelessness and poverty in Maryland and Pennsylvania.    

Heaven on Earth NOW’s gift enables Casas de Luz volunteers to focus on building and furnishing 16- by 20-feet homes in the colonias just across the United States/Mexico border. The families who receive homes are chosen based on their circumstances/extreme need, and willingness to participate in the home-build.

“We’re grateful for the donation of household goods that makes the transition of the families into their new homes even smoother,” says Kathy Faller, Casas de Luz’ Founder. In the case of the Lopez – Gutierrez family, the children have recovered from their respiratory illnesses and now enjoy the comfort of clean and safe surroundings.

Founded in 2015, Heaven on Earth NOW is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to swiftly connect angels and resources to feed, clothe, house, teach, and support people in need – in cities and towns across America and around the world. In 2017, the organization fed more than 45,000 people, among other service initiatives. Learn more at

Casas de Luz is a social justice action program of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito, a Sec. 501(c)(3) organization. Launched in 2005, Casas de Luz has built more than 100 homes and three community centers, delivering more than 100 truckloads of donations each year to families in need in Baja, Mexico. Learn more at

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Marg Stark
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