A few days ago, I received this email from my colleague, Rev. KC Slack, who serves the UU Church of the Verdugo Hills in La Crescenta:
As you all know, the situation at the border has recently been escalated by US law enforcement, and refugees are struggling in hard conditions. Some very trusted activist friends of mine have been gathering supplies and taking them down to groups of refugees they are in contact with. The majority of the folks my friends are working with are LGBT+ folks, who are fleeing homophobic and transphobic violence in addition to everything else that has caused folks to seek asylum, and who have made up a significant portion of the first wave of folks to arrive.
My friends made their first delivery last week and intend to make a second in two weeks. They are particularly in search of warm clothing – especially socks and underwear – as well as medical & health supplies such as first aid kits, condoms, and basic medicines for colds and such. They are also accepting monetary donations which they are able to turn into whatever is most needed for the folks they are serving.
Here’s a message from their fundraising page:
We are working with Enclave Caracol (an autonomous feminist organization that serves the rights of migrants and provides access to education and food for those in need) and others to help provide HIV/HepC testing and counseling, toiletries, condoms, and clothing for the caravan staying in the Benito Juarez site in Tijuana, Mexico. We serve those least served in community, we are focused on offering support to the Queer&Trans community, Womxn, Elders, and Children. These people have endured violence in Mexico from local Mexicans simply for being Queer and/or Trans. We are asking for support in the form of financial donations in order to get more supplies, transportation, medications, and water.If you are interested in giving private donations of new socks and underwear, lightly used coats, sweaters, and blankets. Shoes and sanitized/new baby items are also needed. Ages and sizes range from newborn to elders, there are no sizes out of question! If you can get your donation to the Culver City, CA area, it would be greatly appreciated!
I am asking my congregation to take up a special collection for this on this coming Sunday. If you would like to do the same, or to donate as an individual, I can arrange with them picking up any supplies or monetary donations you or your congregations are able to provide.
As for details, we can give money directly two ways:
gofundme.com/wa2y5na2g?member= 1201254&fbclid= IwAR3hlPhTa9mVNZML8PgOUJF1C7Ub Qw7S3GqMU6Ss2rUU9npCYVsUtSsvfb Y
Venmo to @NaifaAlanbar
Finally, if you wish to donate material items listed above, please give them to me, Rev. Hannah, and Rev. KC and I will coordinate getting them to the organization for delivery. This project is taking place over the next three weeks.
Thank you for your generous and compassionate heart this Advent Season!
– Rev. Hannah