In recent days, I’ve been contacted by numerous individuals and groups seeking information on how they can provide aid to the children coming across the border. So, I’ve been gathering sources in order to provide the best direction possible. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, in conjunction with political and legal complexities, it is difficult for faith organizations and individuals to know how to respond in this situation.
As Marla Bearden, the Texas Baptists disaster recovery specialist related to me in our correspondence, “It is not HHS (limiting access to the children), it is Home Land Security from what I understand. It has to do with liability. We are hoping and praying that we will be able to help out with the children but we want to keep in mind what is best best for the children. This is why I am working to find ways we can assist even if we don’t get to work directly with the kids.”
One thing I want people to know, without reservation: people of faith care deeply about the welfare of the children crossing our borders. I’ve met them. I know them. And so do you.
Please, people of faith, let us not harden our hearts against one another, believing, erroneously, that our fellow brothers and sisters do not care about these children. Yes, there are political reservations about the process of immigration in our country, but this is a separate issue, at the moment at least, from the babes at our doorstep. With that said, here is what I’ve been able to find out about how we can help.
Every night, around 300-400 children arrive at the border in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). I’ve tried to find information about whether these children are crossing borders in New Mexico, Arizona, or California to little avail (if anyone has info on this, please let me know). Apart from the protestations against the busloads of immigrants arriving in Murrieta, California, it seems the bulk of children immigrants are coming from the RGV. Because of the massive influx of children, children are being transported to facilities across the country, including other areas in Texas, Arizona, California, and Oklahoma.
At the moment, it seems that Catholics, Baptists, and interfaith organizations are leading the way in this area. I’ll be following this more in upcoming days, but wanted to draw your attention to a few helpful resources if you wish to help:
If neither of these suit you, simply google “churches in McAllen, Texas” and most have links on the front page of their websites indicating how you can help.