I, along with Mom 2.0 co-founder Laura Mayes, and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls co-founder Meredith Walker, made a trip to Del Rio yesterday to unpack some boxes, and get to know the people at the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition doing the real work every day with refugees who are crossing the border.
The way your donations have been working and helping these people is something I don’t think I can accurately describe, but seeing anger and sadness and all these other feelings we’ve all been feeling turned into ACTION was a powerful experience.
Action is the antidote to despair- Joan Baez
What may seem like something small and insignificant to some- a pair of shoes, a clean pair of socks, a toy- became very big things in the eyes of the people who needed them.
I left the VVBHC yesterday with so many emotions. I’m so happy we are and will continue to make a huge difference.
I’m so happy that little boys and girls have trikes to ride and clean underwear to change into. I will remember how they played like kids would play anywhere, how they giggled and chased each other.
I’m happy to think of the pregnant women who walked into the center and were handed bags packed full of water bottles and snacks shortly after.
And the mom who was there with her baby- she loved on him like any mom of a baby would. She cuddled him, and pushed him in their new stroller. She did that thing we all do when we have a baby, staring at him and talking to him like he’s gonna talk back.
(All photos taken with permission.)
These parents were loving and kind and the first thing they wanted to do after they arrived was get their kids cleaned up and fed.
I get really sad when I think about all the people who think these parents don’t love their children just as much as any American parent loves theirs.
I appreciate the sentiment behind a lot of messages I receive from people who thank me for taking a public stand on this, for using my platform for something “political,” but I don’t think this is a political statement. It shouldn’t be. Anyone, no matter who you voted for, can help these people out.
If you’d like to see more pictures and video from our day at the VVBHC, check out the Help Refugees highlight in my Instagram Story. I’m @JillKraus.e there.
If you feel that doing so is somehow enabling a political agenda, then I think you need to do better understanding why these people are here, and what was so awful that they would endure this as the better alternative.
The volunteers we’ve spoken to, both in Del Rio and San Antonio, have told us stories relayed to them by the people showing up at their doorstep. Families have left their homes and everything they own in the middle of the night because, in one instance, the alternative was to let their 7 year old daughter be raped and to hand over their 12 year old son to a gang. Would you not leave, too? I don’t believe you for a second if you say you’d stay.
No matter how you feel about why these people are at our border, they’re here. If we choose to ignore them, nothing changes. They face massive challenges after the trauma that has already sparked their journey.
But if we choose to do even “small” things, if we welcome them with kindness and love, if we show them that we see them as humans, worthy of feeling clean and worthy of being fed- well, I personally feel like that could change a whole lot.
Ways To Help the VVBHC & Refugees At Our Border
Like them on Facebook
Follow them on Instagram
Shop their Amazon Wish List
Share their story, their social accounts, and their Wish List with your friends and family
Pray for them, talk about them, learn more about why people are here to ask for asylum
Nothing is too small, nothing is insignificant