At some spots the lines between Texas and Mexico are blurred and more often than many are aware of, children of all ages are illegally transported here by human traffickers, called "coyotes", who after paid don't think twice before dumping vulnerable kids on this side. Often stripped of money, exhausted, and hopelessly lost, these children are picked up by U.S. police and sent to centers in cities, such as San Antonio, to locate their family in the U.S, gain citizenship, or be sent home. By definition, the Baptist Child & Family Services (BCFS) is a home for illegal immigrant children (ages 3-18) who often have been abused physically, mentally, and/or sexually on their hard journey across the border.
I had a plan to comfort these downtrodden children. Through multiple stuffed animal drives (school-wide and through my place of worship) I was able to bust through the language barriers that came from not speaking the informal or slang Spanish heard in their native South/Central American homelands! Without a word they knew exactly what message I was sending, one of fellowship, hope and comfort.
In order to reach out further than my small community and more readily be able to advertise my cause, I decided to make a website.
How it works
It's made up of four static webpages sharing one external style sheet. I included images, headings, paragraphs, and special fonts/colors on every page. It also has links to my social media contacts and my partnered Non-Profit for further questions and information.
Challenges I ran into
I ran into most of the challenges that come along with being new to Web Development. I couldn't type a single line of code when I walked into SoHacks at 2pm yesterday. I didn't have a team, any software, a place to post my website, or any experience in programming! I also wasn't used to doing so much work in one sitting or getting so little sleep, but I'm so glad I endured.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I was able to go from my original basic "Hello World" webpage that I was so excited about in my SoHacks Intro to Web Dev class to a whole website featuring four different webpages, links, pictures, and personally chosen fonts and colors.
What I learned
I learned the context behind a lot of scary jargon (i.e. hexadecimal colors, HTML elements, CSS fonts, etc.) and, through the help of SoHacks mentors, even learned how to incorporate them to make the things I cared about come to life on a computer screen.
What's next for Teddy Bear Drive | Kimberly Collins
This website is an effort to expand the influence of my drives so I can reach more kids in future endeavors. It has inspired me to collect stuffed animals from far and wide (maybe as global as the www someday?) and now that I know how to make my own space, I feel beyond empowered.