Opinion: Everyone Can Do Their Part To Help The 52,000 Child Migrants


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Dara Lind

As I’ve been writing about the crisis of children and families fleeing Central America for the US over the last several weeks, I’ve received a number of emails from people asking how they can help. With help from other reporters, advocates, and experts, I’ve compiled a list with some options — from donating money or supplies, to volunteering, to fostering a child.

  No matter where you live, if you’re interested in lending a hand, you can probably find an opportunity
Most of these organizations are based in South Texas — the place where most children and families are entering the country, and where many of them are being held temporarily in short-term facilities. But as children and families get moved through the system, they’re being dispersed throughout the country: in long-term government-provided housing for unaccompanied children, in detention centers for families, and in homes with relatives. So no matter where you live, if you’re interested in lending a hand, you can probably find an opportunity.

This list should not be construed as an endorsement of any of these organizations or their missions; it is purely intended as a resource. This list will be updated with better information and options as the situation develops.

Donating your money

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.  Some Catholic churches in South Texas have been operating as temporary shelters for migrant children and families, and the regional Catholic Charities office is providing on-the-ground support. You can donate online here.
Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief.  Southern Baptist groups have also been providing emergency support to children and families, including coordinating supply drives for children in detention. You can donate online to their general disaster relief fund here.  To donate specifically to their efforts in South Texas, write a check with the designation “Border Crisis” and mail it to the address listed here.
Kids In Need of Defense.  KIND is a service and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting unaccompanied immigrant children. They’re working to get children representation and support in legal proceedings. You can donate here.
RAICES. RAICES is a Texas-based organization providing legal support to immigrants. They have been providing legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children for a long time, and are handling much of the front-line work now. You can donate here.
International Education Services of Texas.  IES is a long-established organization that operates emergency shelters and long-term care facilities for immigrant children, and helps place children with foster families. Learn more about IES here.

Donating supplies

The best way to help charitable organizations — especially in a crisis — is to send cash. That allows them to put the resources to where they are most needed, and it saves on the transportation and logistical challenges that come with in-kind donations. So for most people, cash is the best way to help. (In addition to the organizations listed above, you can also send cash to the organizations in this section.)
But if you happen to live close to the border, then..
To read full article: http://www.vox.com/2014/7/14/5895277/children-border-how-help-donate-volunteer-foster-immigrants-refugees/in/5577523
To contact Dara: twitter – @DLind     e-mail     dara@vox.com
Photo: footprintpress.com