Social Action in conjunction with Women of Adat Chaverim has renamed this month to be « Kidtober ».
While we are focusing on collecting toys for a local kid’s shelter we are also collecting various items for the “tent cities” created under the Trump administration. These temporary housings detain children of illegal immigrants.
Since last May I have been reading through many articles about this situation and many things that I am reading don’t really resonate with the country of the free.
So yes there are parents who are trying to cross the US borders illegally, they are probably looking for better living conditions for themselves and their families, or they might be fleeing a politically unstable country. So in most cases they probably went already through many stressful situations before being caught at our borders.
When being separated, the parents face court and deportation and children are being held in these temporary housings ranging from tents to abandoned warehouses to old summer camps in the best case scenarios. Add to that understaffed personnel, not enough social workers, not enough or unprepared care takers.
Once the kids are in the camps, they don’t get any news from their parents; there are no letters or phone calls. Social workers are trying to locate parents so that they can at least re-assure some children somewhat but in most cases they are unsuccessful when they run against the administration.
How do you explain to a 6 year old that you don’t know where his parents are and when he will see them again. Add to that, that the 6 year old might not really speak English and that you might be rambling in another language which makes things even more complicated.
Most of the care takers are not trained for these situations. They are trying the best they can to deal with the situation but they also have to obey very strict rules like the no “hugs” policy.
Can you imagine a 5 year old -or any age- going without hugs for just a day?
While I was reading through the heartbreaking interviews, I came across one story told by one of the camp guards. He stated that the kids are mostly very quiet, and they try to help each other.
So when bedtime comes around this becomes a hard task. You probably have kids with bed rituals, reading stories, singing songs, leaving the light on, coming back 3 times to make sure the little one is asleep.
All that cannot happen in these camps, lights out and off you go. So many small kids started crying and one of the older boys started to make a cow noise. The kids who were crying went from crying to a soft giggle, so the older boy did it again and again until all the smaller kids were giggling as well as the camp staff.
The guard said that for the first time this had created a sense of togetherness, everybody laughing together.
So if there was a “no cow noise” policy, nobody cared and that is a good thing.
While we are pretty much helpless, we can provide a little ray of sunshine and here is how:
Bring needed supplies for the immigrant children in McAllen to Adat Chaverim throughout the month of October. We are looking for:
- baby & anti-bacterial wipes,
- diapers & pull ups,
- games (such as Rubik’s Cube & Jenga)
- coloring books
- Walmart gift cards
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need additional information.