I was wondering which group to spotlight today, and this message fell into my lap from the family of Laura Tepen, a Facebook friend from Bloomington, Illinois:
The Tepen family is heading down to McAllen, Texas to volunteer at the border for a different kind of field trip. We will be working with Catholic Charities at the Humanitarian Respite Center for those families who are released from ICE detention, often sick and underfed. Our family has a call to help together in the small ways we can, and this cause has been weighing on our hearts. We now have the opportunity to show the corporal works of mercy to people in need, as a family.
As volunteers, we will be assisting with the everyday operations to serve up to 450 people who stay at the center every day. Please read the links below for more information on what the center does for people seeking asylum at our southern border. Our kids will be able to help with distributing items to those who need them, and they can play with the children staying there to be a welcoming and loving face of our country to them.
We will be collecting goods to take with us, as the center is in constant need of toiletries, clothing, medicines, etc. If you would like to donate, the following items are needed, and I can get them from you before we leave on February 21st:
The Humanitarian Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Humanitarian Respite Center needs the following items:
– Toiletries for men and women (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, etc)
– Shoes (sandals, tennis shoes, loafers, etc) for men, women, children and infants of all sizes
– Clothes (pants, t-shirts, blouses, underclothing, etc) for children and adults of all sizes
– Baby supplies for toddlers (Pampers, baby wipes, baby bottles, etc.)
– Sealed snack food (granola bars, chips, peanut butter & cheese crackers, etc)
– Gift cards to purchase food items
– Phone cards
– Plastic bags for families to pack sandwiches, snacks, and water for their trip.
“The Humanitarian Respite Center, is a scant three blocks from the downtown McAllen bus station, where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement releases refugees who have been cleared to stay in the country until their asylum claims are ruled on. Sister Norma has established a contingent of volunteers to take the immigrants to the center for a meal, a shower, a nap, a change of clothes, and to assist them in getting to their next location. “We’re just helping them to restore their dignity,” she says.”
Although we will be doing this trip on the CHEAP (we are staying in an RV for $33 per night and bringing all of our food), we are starting a GoFundMe in case anyone has it on their heart to contribute to our mission. If you choose to support our cause, please specify if you would like your money to provide items for the center or for our family’s travel expenses.
For more info:
“This Texas Charity Offers Border Crossers Warm Welcome to the United States”
“The Border Crisis Up Close: Local Volunteers Help at Migrant Respite Center in Texas”
Previous volumes of the Pro-life Spotlight:
If you know or have worked with an organization that works to build a culture that cherishes human life, please drop me a line at simchafisher at gmail dot com with “pro-life spotlight” in the title.
12 thoughts on “Prolife Spotlight #2: Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center”
What a charming group of commenters are here this morning!
A high school friend of mine, a Baptist, works with this group. I know first-hand that they do excellent work for ‘the least of these.’ I note for all the nice people above that Jesus commanded us to care for the least of these and did not impose a means or morals test for receiving our care.
Exactly and no one is more “least of these” than undocumented immigrants.
Thats what they would have you believe. But lots of these orgs are boondoggles forthe gross waste of taxpayer dollars.
I hope they help everyone, including (especially) the sex traffickers, murderers, and multiple-times deported criminals. So-called “Angel Families” (alleged victims of undocumented immigrant crime) are racists. Americans are way more violent than undocumented asylum seekers.
Lack of a secure border (wall) creates a humanitarian crisis violative of the dignity of all human life.
Build the wall.
I have never traveled to McAllen.
If you take Southwest, you have to fly into Harlingen, but American flies right into McAllen. Both airports are super easy to get in and out of.
A wall won’t stop people from seeking asylum.
Its simpke. Less people, less phony asylum claims.
But you have to present yourself for asylum at the border. Which is legal. Why do you think a wall will stop that?
Build the wall. It would prevent a lot of this suffering from happening in the first place.
The wall is a bad idea, but that being said, why on earth would it prevent asylum claims which are legal?