How to Help Families Separated at the Border

I spent most of last week and this past weekend feeling physically ill over the news coming out of the U.S.-Mexico border. Nearly 2,000 children separated from their families in April and May 2018. Many of these families are seeking asylum in the United States – which is 100% a legal form of immigration codified in international treaty obligations – but are now being prosecuted for the misdemeanor of entering the country illegally. At the same time, officials are refusing to allow families to cross through valid ports of entry to claim asylum, a violation of international law. There are also reports that the government is separating asylum-seeking families that ARE allowed to present themselves at legal ports of entry so the government can keep the parents in jail-like immigration detention while their asylum cases are adjudicated. Babies. Toddlers in diapers. Hysterical children with no one to comfort them. This is happening to children and families just like mine. To parents just like me. Families seeking asylum, just like my Jewish great grandmother who came to the United States after fleeing war and persecution in Eastern Europe. This goes beyond politics. I cannot sit silently while this is going on, and I hope you will also help in any way that you can – whether that means donating to some of the organizations below, joining a protest in your area, or calling, texting, and writing to your Congressional representatives.

Mr. Rogers

CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE

One of the most important things you can do right now is contact your Congressional representatives to express your views. There are three important pieces of Congressional legislation that would prevent family separations at the border and provide assistance to unaccompanied or separated minor children in the United States:

  • S. 3036 – Keep Families Together Act would prevent the Department of Homeland Security from taking children from their parents at the border and require the Department of Homeland Security to provide parents with information on how to locate a child if separated. Check here to see if your Senators support this bill (under the cosponsors section). 
  • R. 5950/S.2937 – the HELP Separated Children Act would protect the safety and well-being of minor children who have been left alone and vulnerable after their parents have been arrested or detained by U.S. immigration authorities. Check here to see if your Senators support the Senate version of this bill (under the cosponsors section), and check here to see if your Representative supports the House version.
  • R. 2043/S. 2468 – the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018 would provide unaccompanied minor children with access to legal representation when they appear in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Because three year olds should not have to represent themselves in court. Check here to see if your Senators support the Senate version of this bill (under the cosponsors section), and check here to see if your Representative supports the House version.

Printable Dear Senator / Dear Representative Postcards by Allie Hasson

Download these printable postcards by Allie Hasson here

You can look up the address and phone number for your two senators here. You can look up your house representative using your zip code here. When you click on their name, scroll down and you’ll see an address and a phone number for their Washington, DC office. Contacting their DC staff is totally okay, or you can click through to their individual website to find local contact info. You can download these printable Dear Representative/Dear Senator postcards by Allie Hasson right here.

Fun Fact: residents of the District of Columbia, where I live, have no voting representation in Congress! We have no Senators, and only one non-voting House representative, which means DC residents don’t get to have our views represented on any of these important policy issues. So please, if you live in one of the 50 states, contact your Senators and Representative and make your voice heard – because I can’t!

When contacting your senator or representative, it’s best to keep things short and sweet. Make sure to include the name of the city or town where you live so the staff will know you’re actually a constituent – otherwise they may disregard your call or letter completely! – and a brief statement outlining your concerns and what you want them to do.

If your Congressional representatives do not currently support the legislation above, urge them to co-sponsor each bill by name and number (this helps their staff track constituent support for specific legislation). For example: I’m a constituent of [Town/State] and I’m calling/writing to ask that [Sen Name] support S. 3036, the Keep Families Together Act, to stop the separation of immigrant families at the U.S. border. This practice is immoral and unnecessarily harms innocent children. It must be stopped by Congress immediately. I’d also like you to support S. 2937, the HELP Separated Children Act, and S. 2468, the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2018, to provide assistance for unaccompanied minor children in the United States.

If your Congressional representatives do support the legislation, contact them anyway to say thank you! It’s important that Senators and House representatives hear from their constituents on important policy issues so they know they’re heading in the right direction.

BTW – whether you’re writing a letter or making a phone call, there’s an amazing resource called 5Calls.org that determines your representatives based on your zip code, allows you to select your priority issues or bills, and gives you a specific script for that issue. You can definitely add your own text and opinions, but it’s a great starting point!

And if you get phone anxiety and want to get a message to your representatives out quickly, Resistbot is a texting service that will deliver your message for you. Text the word RESIST to 50409 to get started.

DONATE

There are lots of ways to support the organizations working on these important issues, from donations to volunteering your time in your area. There are a bunch of great organizations listed in this Slate article, but I tried to round up a few that I heard about from multiple sources below, starting with the organizations in Texas:

The Texas Civil Rights Project represents families and their young children separated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the border. They are seeking volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistant experience to help with intake efforts in McAllen, Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso, and Alpine, Texas. You can also donate to support their efforts here.

RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) works with parents in detention centers in Texas. They have a bond fund to help reunited families and fight their cases from the outside. You can support that bond fund here.

Neta RGV is providing supplies for families waiting to request asylum at legal ports of entry along the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. CBP is claiming they are at capacity and unable to process them, forcing families to stay outside in the South Texas heat for days and weeks. They are seeking donations of supplies such as diapers, wipes, water, and non-perishable food items. Donate and volunteer here.

LUPE (La Union del Pueblo Entero) is a non-profit organization providing pro bono immigration legal services in McAllen, Texas and the Rio Grande Valley area. Consider donating here

Here is an Amazon wish list for the Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas. These items go directly to the Sacred Heart Respite Center working with families seeking asylum, including parents seeking to be reunited with their children. You can also send gently used items, including shoes, pants, and shirts to 1721 Beaumont Ave, McAllen, TX 78501 

Arizona: The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project is a nonprofit organization providing free legal and social services to women, men, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody in Arizona. The Florence Project seeks volunteers including pro bono lawyers, interpreters, researchers, medical professionals, and administrative assistants. You can e-mail [email protected] for volunteer opportunities and donate here.

Illinois and Wisconsin: The Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants (ICDI Chicago) seeks volunteers for a variety of activities, from observing the proceedings at immigration court to visiting immigrant detention centers in the area, and helping mentor newly arrived immigrants.

Pennsylvania: Aldea – The People’s Justice Center in Reading, Pennsylvania needs volunteer interpreters (especially Spanish and indigenous language speakers), attorneys, and legal assistants for help at the Berks Family Detention center, which currently houses unaccompanied minors and children separated from their families. Sign up to volunteer here.

Washington State: The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project needs volunteer Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ translators and interpreters for detained immigrant families, including more than 200 parents separated from their children at the border who have been transferred to this area. NWIRP has offices in Granger, Seattle, Tacoma or Wenatchee. If you speak any of these languages and live in the area, you can volunteer here

Keep Families Together / Ladyfingers Letterpress

Keep Families Together Printable Poster by Ladyfingers Letterpress

JOIN A PROTEST

There have already been some local protests, there are plans for protests outside of ICE detention centers on July 1, and I’m already starting to see rumors on twitter of plans for a larger national protest. The awesome ladies of Ladyfingers Letterpress have kindly offered a free printable poster that you can download right here for all your protesting needs. Thank you ladies!

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations

Welcome to Paper Party week! If you’re a longtime reader, you probably know that I host a party for members the stationery industry during the National Stationery Show in New York each May – and this week I’m sharing the invitations and photos from this year’s party! The party is just a fun evening for everyone to come hang out and socialize in a way that isn’t really possible at the show, but this year I also partnered with the stationery industry’s advocacy organization, Writes for Women, to raise money for charity. And you guys! We raised more than seven THOUSAND dollars! Pretty good for our first try, huh? I’ll share photos from the party in another post, and then we’ll wrap up the week with a big giveaway just for OSBP readers of a few goodie bags from Paper Party 2018 filled with amazing stationery. But since we’re all about the paper around here, I thought that I’d start by sharing the amazing Paper Party 2018 modern minimalist invitations. I was lucky to work with an amazingly talented team, including Ramona & Ruth, Bella Figura, Legion Paper, Cards & Pockets, and Meant to Be Calligraphy – this year’s design features modern abstract shapes in matte white foil on a deep green paper. It’s seriously the most dreamy combination!

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

I’ve been feeling really inspired by modern abstract shapes this year, so I immediately turned to Kim of Ramona & Ruth to create the invitation design. I’ve been loving the direction of her recent collections, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to collaborate! I came up with a color palette of mustard yellow, pale pink, lavender, and forest green and sent that to Kim along with a mood board that I created for the party. We started with a digital save the date that incorporated pretty much every color in the mood board, along with plenty of fun shapes and Kim’s beautiful monoline hand lettering.

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Save the Date / Design by Ramona & Ruth

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

We knew we needed to streamline the design a bit for the printed invitations. I fell in love with a gorgeous forest green Colorplan paper from Legion Paper, so Kim suggested printing the design in matte white foil. It was perfect! Bella Figura handled the printing, duplexing two sheets of the forest green paper for an extra thick invitation that also allowed us to add design and printing credits on the back of the invitation. Duplexing means pasting two sheets of paper together, creating one thick sheet of paper – and it’s the best way to letterpress or foil print on both sides of an invitation without having the text or graphics show through on the other side. This was our first time duplexing the paper party invitations, and the thicker sheet of paper definitely felt more substantial!

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

For the envelopes, I turned to Cards & Pockets – they have the largest selection of colorful envelopes I’ve ever seen! We went with a gorgeous dusty rose pink envelope and added a digitally printed envelope liner featuring some of the shapes and colors from the original save the date. I love seeing all these colors together!

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

Michele from Meant to Be Calligraphy addressed the envelopes in white ink in her monoline script style to complement Kim’s hand lettering. I love the relaxed feel of the monoline lettering with the modern minimalist vibes of the invitation design. And of course I couldn’t resist the new forever stamps designed by Rifle Paper Co.!

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

Paper Party 2018 Modern Minimalist Invitations with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

Modern Minimalist Invitation Inspiration with Abstract Shapes / Design by Ramona & Ruth / Printed by Bella Figura on Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

There you have it! Our Paper Party 2018 modern minimalist invitations created with the most amazing paper team! If you’d like to see the invitations from past paper parties, you can check them out here, here, here, and here. Photos from Paper Party 2018 coming up next! 

 

Design: Ramona & Ruth

Printing: Bella Figura

Paper: Legion Paper Colorplan Forest Green

Envelopes: Cards & Pockets

Envelope Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy

 

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Twelve Perfect Father’s Day Cards

Father’s Day is just around the corner! I loooooooved hunting for the perfect Father’s Day card for my dad when I was a kid. It always felt like a little scavenger hunt to find something cute that wasn’t overly sappy or boring and also didn’t feature golfing or fishing (since I don’t think my dad has ever done either of those things in his entire life). Let’s just say it’s a good thing that greeting card designs have come such a long way since the ’80s and ’90s! So whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect card for your dad, husband, partner, or even a friend or family member, here are twelve perfect 2018 Father’s Day cards!

Twelve Perfect 2018 Father's Day Cards

1. Worthwhile Paper

2. Paper Wilderness

3. Ramona & Ruth

4. Our Heiday

5. Dear Hancock

6. One Canoe Two

7. Ghost Academy

8. Moglea

9. Iron Curtain Press

10. Cardtorial

11. The Good Twin

12. And Here We Are

 

p.s. More amazing Father’s Day cards here, here, here, and here.

Monday Faves: Statement Earrings

Happy Monday everyone! When it comes to jewelry, I’m all about colorful necklaces and statement earrings this year. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, so a bold necklace and pair of earrings is the perfect way to add a bright pop of color to an outfit. I tend to gravitate towards unusual shapes, from organic ceramic pieces to minimalist brass shapes. I’ve been keeping a running list of statement earrings for a while now, and I thought I’d kick off the week by sharing a few favorites – mostly from Etsy makers and small businesses! Ready? Let’s jump in!

Favorite Statement Earrings

1. These Matisse-inspired earrings from Jules and Clem are seriously some of the most beautiful earrings I’ve ever seen. Made with lightweight acrylic, they come in a variety of color options – but this dark blue and lavender is really speaking to me.

2. I picked up a pair of Four Eyes ceramic earrings from a local pop-up boutique (Brief Assembly), and I’m now completely obsessed with this brand. The color options, the shapes – everything is gorgeous!

3. These brass half-circle earrings are true modern minimalist beauties.

4. I’m loving the deep green color and abstract expressionism-inspired vibes of these round resin earrings

5. Beautiful modern earrings from Two Boss Beads made from handmade clay beads and leather cutouts!

6. Minimalist brass rainbow earrings by Rare Bird Designs! Yes, please.

7. These Mod + Jo earrings combine brass shapes with cotton pom poms and tassels! All my favorite statement earring elements in one place.

8. These wood earrings are so unique!

Are you loving statement earrings as much as I am this year? If so, I’d love to see what you’ve added to your collections – feel free to leave links in the comments!

p.s. If you enjoyed this post, you can shop it and support both independent makers and Oh So Beautiful Paper at the same time by using the affiliate links throughout the post. Thank you for supporting Oh So Beautiful Paper!

June 2018 Wallpapers!

Well, happy first day of June everyone! With Memorial Day behind us, we can basically just say that this is officially summer, right? We have a couple more weeks of school left here in DC, but we’re quickly counting down the days until summer break and long days spent at our local splash pad. To kick off the new month, we have two gorgeous new wallpapers from The Good Twin and Mint for Hue! Such fun summer colors – download your favorite through the links below!

June 2018 Illustrated Wallpaper / The Good Twin for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Desktop | iPhone

June 2018 Illustrated Wallpaper / Mint for Hue for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Desktop | iPhone

For personal use only. All illustrations by Mint for Hue and The Good Twin for Oh So Beautiful Paper

p.s. If you’re interested in walking down memory lane a bit, here are the wallpaper designs from June 2017, June 2016, and June 2015!

If you’re a designer or illustrator interested in contributing your own designs to this column, please email your design to hello(at)ohsobeautifulpaper.com with the subject line “desktop downloads” and image files in both desktop and iPhone retina screen sizes. If it’s a good fit I’ll add it to the post for the following month!