A humanitarian crisis at our doorstep
The first week of April, 1,300 girls aged 13-17 were relocated from the Texas border to the San Diego Convention Center. As you may have heard in the news, the number of children and teenagers arriving at our country’s border without a parent or legal guardian has dramatically surpassed the capacity of our government’s infrastructure to provide appropriate care in compliance with U.S. laws, and thousands of kids are presently stuck in unhealthy conditions.
While governmental leaders do their part and will address the complex legal and policy issues surrounding immigration, we believe that our community of believers has a role to play, particularly given the proximity of the crisis, in light of Christ's love for us. God calls us to demonstrate His care and concern for the vulnerable children and families who have arrived at our doorstep.
What to Do:
Matthew Soerens of Hope for San Diego affiliate World Relief suggests that we ask God to resolve the situation in ways beyond what our limited human minds can ask or imagine, availing ourselves of the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Eph 3:20). He writes, "As often as you see reports of this upsetting situation for children in media or God just brings it to your mind, I’d encourage you to pray, asking God to be near to those children and to give wisdom to those entrusted with directly responding to the situation, from Border Patrol agents and staff for the Department of Health and Human Services and its partner organizations to the president and his cabinet."
Serve at the local shelter
Jewish Family Services is coordinating the San Diego Rapid Response Network Migrant Shelter. This is where asylum-seeking families stay until they are able to travel elsewhere in the United States to reunite with family members. JFS is looking for volunteers to assist with airport and bus pickups, drop offs at hotels, printing boarding tickets, medical advocates that assist with driving asylum seekers to medical appointments, picking up meals, clothing, and supplies from a JFS location and dropping them off outside hotel doors.
Provide essential items
The San Diego Convention Center is a temporary home for more than 1,300 girls aged 13-17 mostly from Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. The girls will be housed in this emergency shelter until their asylum cases can be adjudicated, and the shelter plans to close in mid-July. Hope for San Diego is collecting for the top needs of the shelter:
- New blankets
- New clothing (women's size small and medium jackets, sweatshirts, long-sleeved tops, pants, and shoes/slippers)
- New toiletry items (soap/body wash, shampoo conditioner, toothpaste/toothbrush, hair brushes)
Please email Hope for San Diego to arrange drop-off at their North Park office between 9am-12pm Mon-Thursday or to receive further options for delivery of donations. You may also order from their Amazon wish list for direct delivery.
Read about the girls at the San Diego Convention Center temporary shelter
Read why caring for immigrants is more than a policy question for Christians
Explainer: What's Happening at the Mexico Border from the National Immigration Forum
Take the I Was a Stranger challenge