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    Bringing even more light to women who shine

    Day 234

    Catching the Rays

    Hello hello! I’m Annie, a proud member of the Alight team that’s doing the doable at the border. I’m excited to share with you a few stories from people we’ve met on this journey – and some of the good we’ve been able to leave behind.

    Every Tuesday, without fail, the women of Rayo de Luz buy groceries and use their own kitchens to bring a warm meal to the homeless community in Harlingen, Texas. They relentlessly show up with $20 of their own money each week and 54 tacos and hot coffee in hand. They always start at the back of the line. Because as Sister Shirley believes, “the last shall be first.”

    When the last person is served, the women quickly clean up and rush off to their “real” jobs.

    The 12 Latina mothers who make up Rayo de Luz are everyday people from the Harlingen community, many immigrants themselves. They’re giving back in the small ways they can, one person at a time, with a warm meal and a warm embrace.

    “The most important thing is that they feel welcome,” said Sister Shirley. Rayo de Luz represent what the Rio Grande Valley is all about, a mix of cultures all forming one united, blended community.

    The women of Rayo de Luz only spend Tuesday mornings with each other when they gather to serve, as they all have their own busy lives. Sister Shirley, who oversees the ministry, won a free night stay in a hotel in neighboring South Padre Island, and thought it would be a nice way to treat the Rayo de Luz team, spend time together and connect outside of the feeding line.

    The only problem was, they wouldn’t all fit in one room and couldn’t afford more accommodations to make it a staff retreat.

    After seeing these women in action, it was a no-brainer to purchase the second hotel room needed so that Rayo de Luz could have their first staff retreat at a neighboring beach town where they can treat themselves, connect, and rejuvenate.

    Their motto is “While we can’t help every day, we can give them a little ray of light.” We’re so excited for the 12 women of Rayo de Luz to soak up their own rays during their much-deserved getaway!


    Meet Annie! 

    Annie Nolte-Henning is a Project Manager at Alight and serves as Lead for the Color Movement co-creation with Sisters Rising Worldwide. Annie works to find others and lead a group of amazing people to deliver on Alight’s promise to do more and better by the people we serve. She’s proud of helping start a girl’s running club in a refugee camp and being a member of the only Liberian-led team during the 2014 West Africa Ebola crisis.


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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

    Let's Connect!