While government leaders duke it out in Washington D.C. over immigrations policies, organizations like “Border Kids Relief Project” have formed to help provide relief through donations for the children whose futures await a judicial hearing.
The Dolores Huerta Foundation, Speak Hispanic, Family is Familia and Partner Organizations launched the nationwide project to build awareness and support for organizations providing child refugees relief in Texas, California and other locations.
Eva Smith, a Southwest Riverside resident for 16 years, is helping raise awareness of the national project locally because as a mother she wants to help the children while they are here in the United States.
Smith said she was saddened to see a negative image of Murrieta where a man spit on another man during the protest. That protest ultimately resulted in turning away of three buses carrying 140 illegal migrants to Murrieta for processing.
Smith feels her community is better than that and hopes that the negative behavior displayed at protests didn’t stain the Valley’s reputation.
“I want to understand why the children are here. If they are here because they are in fear for their life and they are running away from torture and death we need to let them go through the process to see if they qualify for asylum or need to be deported,” Smith said.
Smith has been recognized as one of the nation’s top Latina bloggers and hopes she can use her ability as an influential blogger to help a child or two.
The project does not provide relief, donation collection or adoption services. Their goal is to give visibility to organizations doing relief work on the ground and to be a resource to those who want to help these children.
For information on relief providers in Texas, California and other areas, guests can check the listings on the item donation page borderkidsrelief.org.
“Regardless of the politics surrounding this issue, the fact of the matter is that the children and families going through this situation are suffering,” said Elianne Ramos, Principal and CEO of Speak Hispanic. “As human beings, we cannot allow ourselves to become so hard-hearted as to witness this crisis without doing something to help.”
“While they are here they should be treated with love and compassion. Not like they are less than human,” Smith said.
A few of the local charities accepting donations are St. Catherine of Siena Parish of Rialto – which is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese, San Bernardino – and Equality Alliance San Diego.