Santa Cruz County

Faith-based community collecting donations for undocumented immigrant kids

Churches, groups collecting donations for immigrant children

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. - The faith-based community on the Central Coast is asking for help to aid tens of thousands of undocumented immigrant children and their families crossing the border.

On Friday, several churches and community centers across Santa Cruz county started collecting donations.

The effort, called "Refugee Aid," started after nearly 40,000 unaccompanied kids were detained at the US-Mexico border.

Alta Vista church in Watsonville said this is a time everyone should come together to help these families because they deserve to be treated with love and compassion.

"We are the answers to somebody else's prayer and I think there are a lot of prayers coming from children these days that call for a response from us, and I think what we do is something we're moved to do by greater powers than us and it presents us as having compassion in a situation some people have tried to polarize into other purposes," said Susan Birkelo of Alta Vista.

Santa Cruz County is one if five counties sharing the responsibilities of 102 children.

Some of the items the public can donate include new women's undergarments, socks, feminine hygiene products and toiletries.

An interfaith prayer vigil to pray for the families will be held on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Watsonville Downtown Plaza.

Humanitarian Aid Drop Off Sites:
• Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church: 100 Salinas Rd, Royal Oaks, CA
• United Presbyterian Church : 112 E Beach St, Watsonville, CA
• First Christian Church: 15 Madison St, Watsonville, CA
• Lutheran Community Church: 95 Alta Vista Church, Watsonville, CA
• Star of the Sea: 435 Frederick St, Santa Cruz, CA

Coalition Includes the Following Leaders, Organizations and Congregations:
Mayor Karina Cervantez, City of Watsonville
Vice-Mayor Felipe Hernandez, City of Watsonville
Trustee Maria Orozco, Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Lutheran Community Church
United Presbyterian Church of Watsonville
First Christian Church
Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church
The Santa Cruz County Immigration Action Group
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Santa Cruz
People's Democratic Club
Pajaro Valley Cesar Chavez Democratic Club
One Donor One Family
Women's Crisis Support/ Defensa de Mujeres

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