When I read this story in The Washington Post this morning about Worthington, MN, I knew I had to act. While I do not know the beneficiaries personally yet, I hope to know them. I simply can't bear to imagine a child anywhere waking up or going to bed hungry. I can't imagine them boarding a bus driven by a man who wishes for ICE raids on them. I can't imagine the trauma they've already been through to get here to safety and then not have it be safe. I don't know how this happened, but I know that I have to do something. You can help. I will do all the planning and deployment and I am assembling a small team to help.
UPDATE: Since this campaign has become so much bigger, I realize you don't all know me: I am Kate O'Reilly and I'm a mother of two, born and raised in Minneapolis, MN.
This is me (second from left) and my family at The Bell Museum in St Paul, MN this summer. THE PLAN
Donated money will buy food, clothing, comfort items and needed supplies for unaccompanied immigrant children settled in Worthington, MN, most of whom are living in America with distant relatives and are awaiting immigration hearings.
I am currently making a specific a plan to deliver food and needed supplies to these children and the families caring for them in the coming weeks, and share the full plan with you once it's in place. I spoke with ILCM. I spoke with Fr. Callahan of The Church of St Mary's in Worthington https://stmarysworthington.org/
as well many other individuals in Worthington who are EL teachers and organizers in the area. I am asking lots of questions to find out what's actually needed on the ground, right now. There are so many orgs doing so much already and this money will be used to boost their efforts.
I am being very thoughtful about this because there is a deeply rooted history of white folks like me wanting to help communities they aren't a part of. This can result in white people showing without first connecting to that community, asking what is needed, and asking if help is welcome. I am committed to not making those mistakes, or at least minimizing them by acknowledging my privilege, and trying hard to honor the communities I'm serving by showing up in the way they prefer me to.
I am committed to keeping any admin costs associated with this project as low as humanly possible. I will withdraw dollars in my name as individual benefactors are identified as it comes in and distribute it in the community with help from community members and organizations.WHAT YOU CAN DO
Lots of folks are asking what they can do. Right now, you can donate. I need you to be generous. Cancel your Netflix. Empty your change jar. Eat in one more time per week. Make coffee at home for the rest of the year. Ask for a raise and donate that. I need you to get a little uncomfortable so that a child in our state, just a few hundred miles from where you are, can have a modest breakfast, a jacket and a notebook. Can you please do that? And then, can you get your friends, family and communities to do the same? And be loud about it? Thank you. There are many good people and orgs on the ground in Worthington doing a lot of good. Let's help them do more.
One thing I know for sure it this: These children are ours. They are ours. The are worthy of love and safety.
If you've asked yourself, "What can I do?" to combat the hateful policies and rhetoric in our country right now, this is one of the answers. This is me, showing you the way. This is your sign. Help now.
Questions, or want to help? Don't hesitate to reach out.