With the increase in immigrants seeking asylum along the southern border, physicians and charitable organizations are struggling to provide needed care, supplies, and shelter to migrants in their communities. A recent article in Kaiser Health News describes the situation this way:
“In the absence of a coordinated federal response, nonprofit organizations across the 1,900-mile stretch have stepped in to provide food, shelter and medical care. Border cities like El Paso, San Diego and McAllen, Texas, are used to relying on local charities for some level of migrant care. But not in the massive numbers and sustained duration they’re seeing now. As the months drag on, the work is taking a financial and emotional toll. Nonprofit operators are drawing on donations, financial reserves and the generosity of medical volunteers to meet demand. Some worry this “new normal” is simply not sustainable.”
Many members along the border are working with local charities to provide care and services and we know many more members would like to help. Here are some organizations and opportunities to contact if you are interested. If you are working with other organizations or know of other opportunities, please email Jonathan Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rio Grande Valley
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley is one organization providing aid and shelter. They report that they have served 100,000 refugees since June of 2014 at their Humanitarian Respite Center. They accept donations through their website.
Dr. Marsha Griffin coordinates medical volunteers for CCRGV. Email her to volunteer.
El Paso County has 18 shelters for asylum-seekers, according to this article from Texas Medicine.
Catholic Charities is also providing aid and shelter in Laredo and the organization has requested assistance and provided instructions about what they need and how to donate on its website.