Volunteers Needed at Southern Border
March 23, 2021
First, I want to express my deep gratitude for the generosity of over 40 Congregations of women religious who have reached out to help with the national eviction crisis and the ongoing needs of families who have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of floods and fires in the midst of the pandemic.
The abiding esteem of our Catholic Charities members for the sisters was evident last week during a meeting we had with our agency directors who are responding to the huge numbers of unaccompanied migrant children and families crossing the southern border right now. During the call, one of the directors asked, “Do you think the sisters would ever be willing to volunteer to come to the border to help us again?” I responded that I would certainly have a conversation with you to see if we might be able to do a “repeat” of the LCWR/CCUSA collaboration at the border a couple years ago. Realizing that there are many complications this year with COVID, I said this would also depend on sisters being vaccinated and that the CDC guidance on domestic flights is lifted. Sisters who speak Spanish are especially needed.
The 19 Catholic Charities border sites in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona are all facing the challenges of caring for many families and children. The specific points of entry are fluid. As of now, Laredo, McAllen, Tucson, Yuma, San Antonio, and San Diego are facing significant numbers of arrivals, but that can change tomorrow. Currently, the most urgent needs are volunteers who speak Spanish and financial aid to buy clothes for the children. We suggest that donations be made via the Catholic Charities USA website: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org
As we did last time, our staff at CCUSA is happy to help with logistics should any sisters wish to volunteer. Our contact person is Kristan Schlichte. Her email is: [email protected].
Please feel free to use this information in any way that you think is appropriate. Just know how proud I am to be one among such faithful, wonderful women!
Donna J. Markham OP, PhD, ABPP
President & CEO
Catholic Charities USA
2050 Ballenger Avenue, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314