Above: Peace Pals, an after school program for children grades 1st – 5th in the surrounding neighborhood of Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church, prepared seven buckets of cleaning supplies to send to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. The program offers an environment that encourages creativity, focuses on academics and centers itself on friendships, community ties, and child/family support.

Every week, Compassionate San Antonio publish a news roundup to help us learn what a compassionate city looks like. It looks like this . . .

Found in the Express News, 18 September, 2017
S.A. can count its blessings as toxic waste flows from D.C.
Let’s start with a new mayor and City Council majority that signed onto a Compassionate Cities charter and last week approved an equity budget designed to address long-standing imbalances.

By The Express-News Editorial Board, 13 September, 2017
It’s ethical and right for city to fund legal aid
It’s also an ethical and moral service that will serve citizens. Consider this very real hypothetical: There is a mother who lives and works in San Antonio, but immigrated here without documents. Her children were born in San Antonio and are U.S. citizens. If the mother receives legal aid through the city, she benefits. But so do her citizen children.

We found District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval’s commentary in the Rivard Report, 15 September, 2017
DACA Recipients ‘Know No Home But Ours’
That night, a Mexican-American filmmaker showed us a preview of his forthcoming film, a story depicting the true life – the challenges, hard work, and contributions – of immigrants in the U.S. “Before we can change minds,” he said, “we must change hearts.”

Found in the San Antonio Current, 19 September, 2017
Don’t Mess With Dreamers: Young San Antonians Prepare for a Life Without DACA
“That’s when I told myself, I’m finally somebody. I’m worth something,” [Maria Mayela] Rocha said. “I cried to the lady there. I was like, ‘Miss, es que usted no sabe,’ and I was hugging her, like yes! I’m in the system now!”

We also found Mayor Ron Nirenberg writing in the Express-News, 15 September, 2017
For equity’s sake, a fair city budget
We make policy by setting a budget. This is the hard work City Council must do. Equity is implementing the promises that politicians make to voters when they walk around neighborhoods and tell residents they deserve better.

Found in the Rivard Report, 20 September, 2017
Mapping San Antonio’s Generosity for Hurricane Relief Efforts
The San Antonio corporate community has pledged hundreds of thousands in cash and provided employee matching fund programs, in addition to extraordinary support for employees in the affected regions.

Found in the Express-News, 15 September, 2017
During a ‘virtual tour’ of dementia, nothing seems easy
[Carole] White [a professor of nursing at UT Health] said she hopes to offer the tour to South Texas communities and caregivers to allow them to gain a better understanding of the challenges dementia patients face. The program also aims to increase awareness of the role families play in caregiving and to offer free classes on how to care for those debilitated by Alzheimer’s disease.

Found on Human Rights Watch, by way of NOWCastSA, who provided the video, 16 September, 2017
Get Real, America: Meet Sister Denise

Found in the Express-News, 17 September, 2017

Interfaith ministry gives guidance, shelter to refugees
Its members might look like they’re merely distributing sack lunches, but they do much more. The volunteers provide some of the only orientation the newcomers receive to get to their destinations, where they’ll wait for courts to decide their refugee or asylum status.

Found in the Express-News, 17 September, 2017
Brief encounters, lasting scars: One year later, memories of violence remain
After hearing the family’s story, Toby returned to work, where he consulted with the owners [of Select One Collision on Eckhert Road], Gilbert and Patty Martinez. The couple, who have children of their own, were compelled to act. “It was a horrific story,” Patty said. “We wanted to do what we could to make things a little easier for her … There was no way I could sit back and do nothing.” So, Gilbert and Patty approached the workers and asked if they would be willing to work on the car on the side, for free. Everyone said yes. Over the next few weeks, the employees put in more than 50 hours of work, installing a new hood, molding, wheel covers and window tint. Ford agreed to sell the needed parts at cost, and the shop paid for the rest.

Seen on KENS5, 16 September, 2017
Community helping east-side child care center recover from burglary
“We have a growing percentage of people who say, ‘I am ready to make a difference and I am ready to get out there in that community.’ So to see this, it’s amazing. I am so happy that people know the importance of being there for each other in hard times,” [Nneka] Cleaver said.

Seen on Univision, 18 September, 2017
¿Está al cuidado de un familiar enfermo? Este curso gratuito podría ayudarle
[Are you a caregiver for a sick family member? This free program may help you]
El coordinador del Concilio de Gobierno del área del Alamo, Hernán Rozemberg, nos habla sobre de un programa gratuito que capacita a quienes cuidan de familiares o seres queridos enfermos. [The coordinator of the AACOG, Hernán Rozemberg, talks about a free program that trains those who care for relatives or loved ones who are sick.]

Seen in the Rivard Report, 17 September, 2017
Texas Public School Districts May Now Store, Not Trash, Leftover Food
San Antonio Democrat [Diego Bernal] toured his district asking teachers and administrators about their biggest concerns for their students. “They were all frustrated with the volume and quality of the food that was thrown away regularly in their cafeteria. They were frustrated by their inability to give the food to those students” who didn’t have food at home, he said.

Found on Texas Public Radio, 19 September, 2017
One In Seven Texans Struggle To Put Food On The Table
Why hasn’t there been more progress in reducing the number of hungry families? What can be done to prevent hunger in San Antonio and across Texas?

Seen on Fox 29, 17 September, 2017
City’s largest neighborhood association shares simple way to fight crime
“We’re trying to spread the outreach that we are all a part of a community,” said [Craig] Hardy.

Seen on KENS 5, 17 September, 2017
Hoops for Harvey raises over $5,000 for hurricane victims
Although most of the kids on his team are only 10 years old, they know there’s more taking place on the court than just the points on the scoreboard. “I feel like all the people that are doing it really care for all of the people in the hurricane,” player Josiah Klappenger said.

Seen in the Express-News, 17 September, 2017
The goal: making downtown inclusive
It takes action through affirmative steps to build a downtown that is inclusive. These steps include continued community outreach, understanding why not everyone feels comfortable in our downtown, and conscious programming and activation to assure that all feel welcomed.

Seen on News 4, 18 September, 2017
Program aims to reduce child abuse, neglect
The two-year pilot programed will focus on the 78207 zip code, which the state said has the highest number of reports for child abuse in Bexar County.

Seen in the Express-News, 19 September, 2017
Robert E. Lee apartments want to remove Confederate general’s last name from building
“This is something that has been discussed by the applicant and staff for some time,” [District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño] said in a statement. “This city has shown itself to be resilient and thoughtful about residual elements of the Civil War.”

and also, Brian Chasnoff’s Express-News column on 19 September, 2017
Awareness of racist symbols growing

Seen on Telemundo San Antonio, 19 September, 2017

Distrito escolar pide ayuda para renombrar preparatoria [School district asks for help to rename high school]
Cualquier persona de la comunidad puede someter una sugerencia. [Anyone in the community can submit a suggestion.]

Seen in the Express-News, 19 September, 2017
After 100 years, House of Neighborly Service continues to aid San Antonio’s poorest neighborhoods
Today, HNS does not mention religion on the mission statement section of its website, though the values and missions it espouses — dignity and compassion, educating and supporting the community — mirror those from decades back.

Seen on KENS 5, 18 September, 2017
80+ neighborhood groups working together to take on mailbox thieves
As it is now, many people are being forced to pick up their mail at local post offices, which can be inconvenient for those with limited mobility or no transportation.

Seen in the Rivard Report, 19 September, 2017
As Nation’s Poverty Rate Declines, San Antonio’s Increases
Many years ago, San Antonio gained a reputation for being a low-wage town with unskilled workers, [Father Jimmy] Drennan [a pastor and member of the COPS/Metro Alliance] said, “and we did not challenge that or move away from that. To me, [this data] is an indicator for the City Council to really take a look at our city and say we’re not going to be known for that anymore. … We’re going to invest in the people of this city.”

Seen on Univision, 17 September, 2017
Autoridades de San Antonio realizan taller de defensa personal para reaccionar ante incidentes violentos
[San Antonio Authorities Conduct Self-Defense Workshop to Respond to Violent Incidents]
Después del ataque a una mujer en el parque Harberger, cientos de mujeres acudieron para aprender medidas de defensa contra posibles ataques. [After the attack on a woman in Harberger Park, hundreds of women came to learn measures of defense against possible attacks.]

see also the San Antonio Current, 18 September, 2017
Shifting Conversations About Rape in San Antonio: Support vs. Stigma
“We don’t need to be making a list about what she could have done,” said Deana Franks, interim director of San Antonio’s Rape Crisis Center. “Why aren’t we talking about how people shouldn’t jump out of the bushes and rape someone?”

Seen in the Express News, 20 September, 2017
BiblioTech continues to grow digital reach in fourth year of operation
“They’re already intimidated to walk into a space like this,” [Pleasanton Branch Manager Jose] Siller said. “Our real work comes in building bridges with them. We take our time and try to walk them through it.”

Found in FOLO Media, 20 September, 2017
What Nicaragua taught me about San Antonio
If you want to grasp what’s happening in the most vulnerable parts of this city, just think of whatever portrait of poverty is most familiar to you — chances are, that reality is not too distant from what’s happening in thousands of households in your hometown.

Found in the San Antonio Business Journal, 19 September, 2017
San Antonio mayor to launch air quality pledge drive for businesses
Developed by the city of San Antonio’s Office of Sustainability, the pledge cards will feature items ranging from small activities, such keeping the tires of fleet vehicles properly inflated, to more significant commitments, such as buying bus passes for staff or offering telecommuting options to employees.

COMPASSIONATE SAN ANTONIO . . . . . is a grassroots movement that promotes, supports and celebrates San Antonio’s commitment to be a world-class compassionate city: one where the civic government, the religious and volunteer organizations, the businesses, the community and its educational institutions come together to recognize the importance and value of compassion in the life of a city and by doing so create an ethos of compassion and a safety net for its most vulnerable citizens. #compassionateSA

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