WATSONVILLE, Calif. - The Watsonville community said it's putting politics aside and coming to the aid of thousands of undocumented children crossing the border every day into the United States. A vigil was held Sunday in support of those children trying to supply them with the most basic needs.
Usually a hotly-contested political battle over immigration reform featured the softer side of Americans who just want to help.
"It's not about politics. It shouldn't be about politics when you're talking about children in need of help," said Watsonville Mayor Karina Cervantez.
Mayor Cervantez, the daughter of poverty-stricken immigrant parents, organized a charitable movement by combining the churches and the community in her city.
"I do think this is a humanitarian aide condition and I do think the United States has had a long history of reaching out and helping refugees and helping out those that are struggling and having to flee their country," Cervantez said.
With pastors from all over the city leading a vigil in the Watsonville Plaza. They are asking for donations, essentials like socks and underwear among the many things.
"I believe that when you're blessed, you are blessed to be a blessing and we need to find a way to help these children in particular," Robby Olson, a local pastor.
For some, the rough conditions children are enduring now in the U.S. are nothing compared to the journey it took to get here.
The donations are trickling in, partly because some faith leaders just announced this idea to their congregation and the hope is that regardless of religion, political affiliation or prejudices Americans show compassion for other human beings.
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