Helping Our Neighbors - Responding to Humanitarian Crisis at the U.S./Mexico Border

Date Posted: 7/9/2014

The Center for Missional Excellence, TACCOR and the TAC immigration taskforce are seeking assistance in responding to the humanitarian crisis on the U.S./Mexico border. Over 39,000 adults with children have crossed the U.S./Mexico border since last October. Another 52,000 refugee minors have made the crossing on their own, without adult accompaniment.  Many have been temporarily detained by the government, identified and temporarily released to travel to an identified relative that may be cities away. However, they are without basic necessities such as clothing, bedding for overnight lodging, first aid emergency medical supplies for incidents along the way, shoes, and food and water.
 
We have been in conversation with our colleagues in the Southwest Texas and Rio Grande Conferences (soon to be the new Rio Texas Conference) regarding this crisis and how we might help in the response.  Based on that conversation, are asking for donations of the following items from those churches within the TAC wishing to assist:
 

  1. Monetary donations to UMCOR advance # 901670 marked “Immigration Crisis.”
  2. Fast food or large “box store” gift cards
  3. Bedding kits (twin sheets, pillows, pillow cases, light blankets)
  4. NEW undergarments
  5. Shoes fit for travel
  6. Fruit juices (not fruit drinks)
  7. Disposable diapers
 
Donations can be delivered to the following location. Please call before you come so that the location can be sure to have someone to receive you
Fairhaven UMC, 1330 Gessner Dr, Houston, TX 77055, (713) 468-3276 6 am- 6 pm Monday-Friday
Porter, Friendship UMC, (281) 354-2326, 152 Ford Road, Porter, TX 77365
Email friendshipum@embarqmail.com, website http://www.friendshipumcporter.org
Contact person: Rev. Clay Whitaker

***UPDATE***
Collection Deadline Extended to August 1, 2014 :  The initial delivery date for supplies to the border remains July 12 because the need is urgent.  Therefore, those churches that are able to take initial donations to the collection sites before July 12 are requested to do so.
  However, In order to allow as many churches as possible to participate and given the 4th of July holiday and first Sunday arrival of many of our pastors, we are extending the donation collection deadline to August 1, 2014.  Also, please continue to monitor the website for changes in items needed over the month of July as well as additional collection points.  We are still looking for additional collection sites to the North and East of Houston.  If your church is able to function as a site, please contact DeWitt Cox at disasterresponse@taccor.org
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We are working on finding additional drop-off sites in the further outlying areas of the conference.  We will update this post as soon as locations become available.
 
Reminder: PLEASE DO NOT SEND ITEMS NOT ON THIS LIST.  ALSO, PLEASE DO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED ITEMS OR VOLUNTEER TEAMS TO THE BORDER AS THIS COULD SERVE TO WORSEN THE CRISIS.
 
The Office of Missional Excellence, TACCOR, and the TAC Immigration Task Force will continue to monitor this situation and report any changes or additional needs to you as they are made known to us. 
 
Also, the Hispanic Ministries Committee will be hosting a prayer vigil on Tuesday, July 15 from 5 pm -10 pm at the St. Luke’s/Gethsemane campus, 6856 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, TX for those who can join us in prayer for those impacted by this crisis. 

Border Crisis Prayer Vigil - July 15th