Breaking records, and receiving threats and celebrating birthdays oh my!

Last week was busy busy at Casa de Paz!

- We hosted 22 guests (the most guests ever in one week!) from El Salvador, Eritrea, Mexico, Russia and Fiji
- I received my first death threat... yikes! But I am implementing new things to keep our home a safe and welcoming place. 
- Friday night I felt very loved when Casa volunteers threw a surprise birthday party for me -- and the icing on the cake was being able to celebrate it with a young lady who just got released from immigrant detention and whose birthday was the day after mine! 

Who knows what this week will look like... it's always an adventure around here:)

Sarah J

Time to Celebrate!

Our Casa de Paz community rallied together and:

- Bonded out 13 parents separated from their children at the border under the zero tolerance policy for a total of $28,000
- Purchased flights for 27 parents to reunite with their families for a total of $8,648
- Sent calling cards to 29 parents so they could locate and speak with their children for a total of $580

In total we raised $45,876 to support families separated by immigrant detention. THAT is something to celebrate!

"These moments of celebration make us pause and be mindful, and that boosts our well-being. Mini-celebrations can plump up the positive emotions which make it easier to manage the daily challenges that cause major stress."

I'd love to hear how you chose to celebrate this accomplishment!

Final Texas Family Reunifications Update

I'm back in CO... home sweet home!

Here are my reflections on my week down in TX reunifying the parents who were transferred down there from the CO immigrant prison.

Work at Casa de Paz continues as normal... we know several mothers whose children were taken away from them at the border and are still locked up behind prison bars. When we receive news they can bond out, we'll go pay their bond, welcome them to the Casa and then get them back with their children... right where they belong.

Families belong together,

Sarah J

“I never imagined I would be away from my son for a single day, let alone months.”

Thanks for watching the Reunite Families Fundraiser Update video. 

Here's a story of one of the mothers helped with the money we raised. “I never imagined I would be away from my son for a single day, let alone months.” She was separated from her child at the border and stayed at Casa de Paz after her bond was paid and she was released from detention: 

I wish you could have seen how happy she was to finally be free, and at the same time the look of pain and panic in her eyes wondering where her son was and if he was okay. And if she would ever see him again. 

100% of the $16,414 donated at the fundraiser will be used to pay for more parents' bonds and their travel costs to reunite with their children. When I meet the parents after their release from immigrant detention I am going to show them these pictures taken at the event so they can see that people DO care about them and they are NOT alone. A big thanks to Silver Cedar Photography for capturing these beautiful photos.

Families belong together, 

Sarah J

Watch a mom reunite with her daughter at Casa de Paz

Last week I watched a mom reunite with her daughter after being separated from her for four years. The mother was released from the immigrant detention center in Aurora, but one of her young daughters still remains detained in another state far away.

I wish I could describe what it felt like to hear her crying tears of joy to see her daughter and at the same time, tears of terror not knowing if or when she would ever see her other child again.

Thanks to the generosity of the Casa community, we paid the travel costs so this family could reunite and begin the long, complicated process of finding the detained daughter and getting her back.

There are still moms and dads locked up in the Aurora who have detained children in other facilities. On Friday we are coming together to raise money to pay the bonds of these parents and their transportation expenses. The funds will also be used to send calling cards to parents behind bars so they can find their children and communicate with them.

You can find all the information on the Happy Hour Fundraiser here. I hope to see you there!

Families belong together,

Sarah J

Maria's daughter is on her way home to mom

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Great news! Maria's daughter will be reunited with her mom!

The Casa community was able to pay for Maria's bond so she could be released from immigrant detention and start the process of finding her daughter and getting her back. We just received news that Maria's daughter was released from the immigrant detention center for children and is on her way home to her mom.

A big thank you to each person who has donated. Your gifts are making a difference in the lives of these parents and their children.

There are many, many more parents who are still locked up behind bars. We will continue fighting for them and doing our part to put families back together again.

With perseverance and hope,

Sarah J

I began vomiting blood

We have hosted several moms at Casa de Paz who have been separated from their children at the border. Listen to this mom share her story of how she was treated in detention. And remember, to make it even more unbearable, she went through this experience while her child was separated from her and being held in a detention center in a completely different part of the country. 

Watch this news segment where I share other stories of mothers who are going through horrific and terrifying time in their lives as they desperately search for their children, 

Moms and dads are still suffering. They still need help to pay their bonds so they can begin making plans to reunite with their children. They still need calling cards so they can try to locate their children and talk with them. Please plan to attend our Family Reunification Happy Hour Fundraiser on Friday, July 13. You can find more info by clicking here.

Families belong together,

Sarah J

An Iron and A Piece of Paper

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We had the honor of hosting a gentleman from Africa who was released from immigrant detention last week. He escaped horrors you could not imagine, coming to the United States seeking asylum. 

On the day of his release, our volunteer Greg picked him up from the detention center and brought him to our home. He walked in and I immediately celebrated his release with a big high five and then he asked me, "Do you have an iron?"

He had packed an outfit that he planned to wear on the first day he would see his family whom he hadn't seen for many, many years. I paused, because I couldn't remember if we actually did have an iron (if my clothes require ironing I give them away haha!). But then I realized we had one so I brought it up to him. 

The second question he asked was, "Do you have a piece of paper?" I grabbed a notebook that was on the kitchen table and handed it over to him. He began writing a name down. He told me, "This is the name of my friend who is still locked up. Do you think you can find someone to go visit him? He would really like it."

I've thought about why those two questions have stuck with me. He reminded me that each and every single human being in detention is just that... a human being. With hopes and dreams, even if one of those dreams is as simple as an ironed shirt. And I was humbled that after his traumatic experience of fleeing from unspeakable violence and being held behind bars, he was still considerate enough to remember a fellow friend left behind in detention. 

If you would like to visit someone in detention and have already gone through our visitation training, please email We have 22 men and women on our list of people who have requested a visit and they all speak English or Spanish.

Plan to attend our next visitation training if you have not yet done so. It will be on July 7 from 1pm - 3pm. Email to save your spot. 

Finally, save the date for Friday the 13th. We are having a Happy Hour fundraiser to raise bond money so we can get moms and dads separated from their children out of detention and back together again. 

With perseverance and hope,

Sarah J

Volunteering with Casa de Paz - Ways to Help

It truly does take a village to keep our doors open. We’ve been open since 2012, are a 100% volunteer-run organization and have hosted over 1,100 guests!! Here are a few ways for you to get involved:

Host guests being released from detention

Hosts pick up released individuals from the detention center, take them to the Casa and help them make plans to get home. You will  also provide transportation to the airport/bus station once our guest has their plane or bus ticket. This is a critical role at the Casa because it’s direct involvement with someone who has nothing — no money, no phone, nobody in town to help them out, no food, etc. We are there to accompany them, welcome them to the USA and provide the necessary help to get them home with their families — right where they belong. 

Visit someone being detained

Right now there are men and women locked up inside the immigrant detention center with no link to the outside world. Maybe they are not from the area and have no one who can stop by and visit, or perhaps they do have family around, but their family is undocumented, making it impossible to enter the detention center. You have the opportunity to help ease the isolating experience of someone who is detained by visiting them. 

If you are interested in hosting or visiting, please plan to attend one of our volunteer trainings. Our next one is November 4 from 1pm -3pm and will be held at the Casa (20850 East 45th Ave, Denver). Please let me know if you can make it and I will save you a spot. 

Donate household items 

Please check out a list of items we currently need on our Target Gift Registry. This is an easy and convenient way for you to purchase something we need and have it sent directly to our home. 

Bring groceries or a meal

As you can imagine, our guests arrive to the Casa hungry and craving a healthy, delicious meal. Most often our guests have been locked up for months, sometimes years, eating the same bland food over and over and over and over again. You can make a meal for 6 people and drop it off any week day at 6pm. If you’re not a good cook, you can also bring over a bag of groceries and we can cook something up with our guests. 

Not a good cook and hate grocery shopping? (Me, too!! Haha!) We accept gift cards to King Soopers or Walmart so when we need fresh food (milk, eggs, fruit and veggies) we can make a grocery run and purchase everything to keep our fridge full.

Clean our home

Cinderella, Cinderella, how we love our Cinderella!

Haha! Don’t worry, I won’t call you Cinderella, but I will be very thankful if you choose to come and help keep our home clean for our guests. We have cleaning guides for each room so you know exactly how and what to clean so when our guests stay with us, they are always in a comfortable environment. All cleaning supplies are provided. 

Whew!! That was a lot of info, huh? If you have any questions please let me know. I’ll go ahead and add you to our email list so you can stay connected with us. You can also Like us on Facebook

With perseverance and hope,
Sarah J. 

Volleyball Latino Player

Volleyball Latino is a family-friendly league where we play the best sport in the world. All the team registration fees pay for the expenses of Casa de Paz.

Here is one of the league's players: 


“This league brings things I love together: helping families, making a community, and volleyball.”

Andrea found Volleyball Latino through a radio ad, and was immediately excited to have a venue to continue playing volleyball after high school. She quickly discovered that it wasn’t just a “pay and play” league, but that it offered something much deeper and more meaningful. 

“I met people staying at Casa de Paz. I got involved. I’ve gone to visit people who are staying there, and brought a family to come watch our volleyball final. The two little boys and their dad were in a time of transition, and they got to watch the game and just feel normal.” 

“Volleyball Latino has created a community.” 

The teams range from beginner to competitive, meaning that new players are constantly being added and new people are hearing about the league and the cause. Andrea said, “People can try something, and know that their money is going toward something good. They are sympathetic to the cause, and then they become part of something fun and important.” 

While the majority of Volleyball Latino players are Latino, it’s far from the only demographic involved. There’s a Mongolian team, and a player from Guam. Andrea said, “There’s a real diversity here, just like at the Casa. It’s awesome to have that here.” 

Andrea volunteers as a translator at the Casa de Paz, and has witnessed the effort it has taken to grow the nonprofit and offer the services Sarah Jackson and Casa de Paz currently provide. Andrea said “witnessing the work of nonprofits has changed my aspirations from wanting to be a doctor to wanting to support nonprofit work. I want to help Sarah do what she does now, and help her do more. This work clicks for me.” 

Jar of Mayo

Some of my most vivid childhood swirl around time in the water. Splashing around in a pool for hours on end gave way to my nickname, "The Fish." One day my mom planned a pool day for us, and packed a lunch for our family. We would definitely be hungry after a full day of sun, sunscreen and pool time.  She packed all sorts of picnic foods. Sandwiches, chips, watermelon... and a jar of mayo? I remember seeing the jar and wondering why it was in the ice chest. It seemed so odd. 

My mom had a plan. She knew what she was doing. Time, love and energy went into packing the perfect lunch. Now here sits this jar of mayonnaise, a random item to bring. But to my mom it made perfect sense. She knew someone would want it. She packed it with the hopes of satisfying someone's hunger. It was an intentional act of love. 

Now here I was, almost 20 years later, in the middle of the arid Mexico desert. My trip’s focus was exploring the complex sides of immigration. On a merely human level we can all see that 
people are dying. Moms, dads, little children, grandmas and grandpas are crossing the desert and dying- of thirst, starvation and medical injuries.

There are simple things we can do to prevent these deaths. One of them is providing water. That's what I was doing in the desert, filling large barrels of water for migrants to drink. (I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. Matthew 25:35)

Walking through the desert I came across a worn trail many weary travelers had used to stop, rest and eat. And then I saw it. A half-full jar of mayonnaise. 

Just a jar of mayo, right? 

But to me it represented a mother's love for those she cared for. I imagined a woman preparing food for the long journey ahead. Tears welled up like little pools in my eyes as I imagined a mother carefully and tenderly packing a lunch for her family as they trekked through the desert- sojourners in a foreign land. 

Someone packed this jar of mayo with the hope of it providing sustenance to those they loved. And now here it was, half-empty and abandoned.

Many half-empty, abandoned dreams are walking in the desert right now. Some are on the verge of death. There are dry, dusty mouths in the desert in this very moment. Don’t forget them.