Many of you are asking how we can assist the children and families crossing our border in such numbers. CA currently has no unaccompanied minors but does have families. As you’ve seen in news reports, their living conditions are very harsh – the Border stations are not at all prepared to take care of children, teens, or families, especially in these numbers. The people are desperate – they are fleeing increasing gang violence – and are surrendering to border patrol agents the moment they set foot on US soil. The sheer numbers are creating a humanitarian crisis we are not yet solving well – without you.
Our long-time allies from Interfaith Center for Worker Justice in San Diego are collaborating with the San Diego Foundation for Change to gather necessary goods, money, and volunteers. We are posting their update for you. Their contact information is within the body of their notice. Please talk with them before sending anything.
–UPDATE from ICWJ--
First and foremost, thank you for the outpouring of “stuff” that was donated during this week! See a few of the photos in this email. WOW!!!!! What a tribute of love and compassion. Your donations are being dispensed to refugee families now and will continue to be as long as there is a need. We cannot thank you enough!
There are a very few items that are still needed if you would like to make a donation:
Women’s underwear of all sizes (NEW ONLY)
Women’s socks of all sizes (NEW ONLY)
Feminine Hygiene Products
You can bring these items to our ICWJ offices, 3758 30th Street, San Diego, 92104. Some of us are in the office between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays. To be sure, give us a call before you come, 619-584-5740.
Secondly , we are working with government agencies to provide support and comfort to the families who are arriving in San Diego County. We have NO unaccompanied children arriving here . All those who are coming to our region will be families. More than 90% of the families are being reunited with family members already living in the states, mostly in the Eastern and Southeastern part of the country. The stateside families are so excited to get the call from their relatives and are arranging transportation for them right away!
We are in need of two things right now.
Volunteers who can help transport families to the bus station on their way to reunite with family. If you have some time and would like to volunteer, please email us at Elizabeth@ICWJ.org. Send us your name, phone number, and email address. Spanish speakers are heartily invited and non-Spanish speakers are great as well.
We are seeking people who can host a family for up to 10 days. If you have a room with access to a bathroom, a guest house, granny flat, or basement apartment and are willing to host a family for three to ten days, please contact RabbiLaurie@ICWJ.org.
We will continue to stay in touch about how we can support the families that are coming through “America’s Finest City!”. Your outpouring of concern and support helps to relieve the humanitarian crisis!
Thank you and blessings,
Rabbi Laurie, Lisa, and your ICWJ staff
Another helpful organization
Another link: San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium website will serve as a clearinghouse for information about Central American refugees and how the community can assist them. Starting on Monday, the SDIRC site will provide a complete list of the items needed and where they can be delivered. Items will include new clothing and shoes for women and children, toiletries, diapers, towels, and items to occupy children (toys, books, videos, balls).
The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium is committed to assisting Central American refugees who are fleeing life-endangering circumstances in their home countries and are seeking humanitarian relief in this country. In this humanitarian crisis, we open our hearts and act with compassion, extending what help we can for these women and children in their moment of need.
List of Items Needed:
Baby Food (plastic if possible)
Diapers All Sizes
Soft toys for small children
Playing cards for older children and maybe puzzles
Balls for children of various ages
Plastic Utensils – spoons
Sweat Shirts (one color)
Sweat Pants (one color)
Shoes, slip in rubber bottoms (all sizes)
Plastic bags with handles
For those interested in long-term public policy changes, we encourage your investigation of Foundation Cristosal that focuses primarily on El Salvador and altering the conditions there that have prompted this dreadful migration. Their web site is: http://cristosal.org where you will find much information about how to help their many strategies to alleviate this crisis and help the people who have already arrived in our country.
Any help you can give to alleviate this immediate crisis and then focusing on long-term solutions will be much appreciated.