After reaching out to the community to ask for volunteers and donations, Catholic Charities received many donated items and more than 150 people who signed up to become volunteers to help immigrant families.
As of July 14, the nonprofit agency has not yet received any immigrant families, even though they have a government contract to care for children separated from their families at the border. It’s estimated that around 2,000 to 3,000 children have been separated from their parents thus far, so they expected to receive some families on Sunday evening, according to CEO and President J. Antonio Fernandez.
“It depends on when the government releases the people,” Fernandez said. “They thought that we were going to have a 100 today but we haven’t had anyone yet, so I don’t know if they’re going to all drop in late at night, like they sometimes do, or they’re just going to do it with only 10 people.”
The nonprofit organization expects to receive up to 400 families by July 26, which is the date that a federal judge ordered the government to reunite the separated children with their families.
Fernandez also said that Catholic Charities of San Antonia received a number of helpful items, but they still need clothes and money to help pay for meals and hotels for the families once they leave the agency. Many donated products are given new life in developing nations where individuals can buy American goods for pennies of their original price. Around the world, more than 14.3 million tons of donated American textiles help clothe people and families worldwide. Those textiles are now needed right inside of our borders to help these families.
“We still need more, but we’ve been able to get a lot of donations over the course of today,” Fernandez said. “San Antonio has truly, truly stepped up.”