Why we're doing this.
Refugee Relief Fund was inspired by our 2015 work with Central American refugees in San Antonio, Texas. We worked with women and children who had been released from immigrant detention facilities after horrific journeys from violent home countries, where their lives were in danger. After their release, these asylum seekers were dropped off at the Greyhound Bus Station with nothing more than vouchers for their bus ticket. They were traveling as far away as New York City and Florida.
None of them had food, water, or any money to purchase food along the way.
For journeys as long as five or six days.
Many had small children still in diapers, and they had no way to purchase diapers or formula for their small children. Women had no feminine hygiene items, which were rationed at the immigrant detention facility. One young woman had soiled her clothing. She not only had no feminine hygiene products, she had no change of fresh clothing for her long journey. Children were released with colds, but their mothers had no way to purchase over the counter pediatric cold relief medication, or tissues, or blankets to use in the air-conditioned buses.
We observed some wonderful religious workers trying to help, and we gave out all our cash, and ran repeatedly to the nearest store to purchase necessities and snacks like granola bars. But the need was overwhelming, and mortifying to watch.
That is how the Refugee Relief Fund, formerly Refugee Resettlement Fund, came into being.
We collaborate with other non-profits and legal aid groups to identify individual need. We also provide in-kind donations of personal items, diapers, bottled water, non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and other necessities to the RAICES TX shelter in San Antonio.
Due to recent political developments, we see increasing need. It is our hope to expand our activities to help all refugees who have been displaced from their homes, even in some small way to alleviate suffering.
Unitarian Universalist Service Center
Additional collaborators TBD
"No Safe Haven Here"
Opinion | Exactly how cruel is Homeland Security? http://wapo.st/2znixMg?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.7308f0269463