Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Offering one small box of hope

South American refugees await processing in the U.S.
We've all read the stories, we've seen the images of thousands of children flooding the U.S. border from Central and South America.

This post isn't about immigration policy. This post isn't about debate. This post solely is about what we as compassionate neighbors can do for as many as possible of these kids while they are here.

Before you turn away, thinking this catastrophe is simply too much for one person to address, allow me to adjust your thinking. What if you and me, your friends and mine, our neighbors, co-workers, members of our congregations approach this challenge on a one-to-one basis?

The question then becomes: What are we willing to do for one child, one-on-one, one neighbor to another?

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has launched just such an approach, and a group here in River City is organizing to help. Follow the link for details of the aid program.

Here we will be collecting and assembling Welcome Boxes and gift cards for refugee children processing through Texas. Once we have collected a load, we will deliver the boxes and cards to the Fort Worth Diocese. How many runs we make to Fort Worth depends on you and the amount of goods you provide.

Here is the suggested composition for one Welcome Box:

  • 1 Plastic shoe box sized container
  • 1 Shampoo
  • 1 Conditioner
  • 1 Body Wash/Bar Soap
  • 1 Toothpaste
  • 1 Toothbrush
  • 1 Brush/Comb
  • 1 Pack of Hair Ties
  • 1 Deodorant
  • 1 Small Toy

The Diocese also requests that gift cards be donated rather than cash. Suggested are $25 cards from Walmart, Target, McDonalds, etc. so that volunteers can shop for specific, individual needs and a rare treat for these kids, most of whom arrive in Texas with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing.

We are in the process of ironing out details for donation collection here, and should have a central location for drop offs by next week. In the mean time, if you would like to help us with this neighbor-to-neighbor effort, you may send your name and contact info (email is fine) to

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