Many of us have been horrified by the stories of immigrant families being torn apart at the border and images of children wrapped in mylar blankets in detention facilities. While the focus from the media earlier this summer helped bring the government’s policies of separating families to a halt, hundreds of children and parents remain in shelters and detention centers throughout the United States.
Mara recently travelled as a translator and volunteer to McAllen, Texas, a border town that has gained notoriety for hosting one of the government’s largest immigration detention centers and where hundreds of parents have been separated and continue to be kept apart from their children. She spent several days volunteering at the Catholic Charity of the Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center, where the authorities drop immigrants they are releasing from detention centers. Each day, more than 100 immigrants, many refugees, filed in and continue to arrive, almost all with children, many with ankle bracelets. They were tired, hungry, in need of a shower, a clean set of clothes, medical supplies and a warm meal.
We are organizing a group to travel down to McAllen on August 12th to volunteer for a week and are hoping to raise money to purchase the bare necessities for these families. Any amount helps. The shoes we have been purchasing costs average about $20. $2000 will help us cover the costs of supplying pairs to 100 individuals a day.
Your donations will be withdrawn by us and used to purchase clothing, shoes and medical supplies on the ground in Texas at Goodwill, Family Dollar, Old Navy and other outlets. (We are currently looking into getting charitable discounts or donations from these stores as well.) All donations will go directly to these purchases as we will be covering our own travel expenses.
While donations directly to the shelter are welcome, we’ve found it is easiest to collect contributions ourselves so that we can respond to the needs of the families that change on a day-to-day basis.
This shelter has received more than 100,000 immigrants since 2014 when a surge of unaccompanied women and children began coming to the US from the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras). Their work is both urgent and indispensable.
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