Unless you’ve been living under a log, you’ve probably seen the heart-wrenching controversy about families being separated at the border. Over 2000 children have been taken from their families, from teenagers down to nursing babies. I don’t know about you, but I can’t help imagining being unexpectedly separated from my own little girls and it breaks my heart.
Part 1 of this post is about how to help these families being pulled apart at the border. Tomorrow, Part 2 deals with our personal anxiety provoked by imagining being separated by your kids. I’ll go over what you can do to prevent a child being lost or taken, and what to do in the moment of pure terror (I think most parents have), looking down to see your kid is not where you left them.
Part 1: Do Unto Others
Regardless of your political leanings and stance on the underlying policies, every human with a heart can see that these children and parents need our help. It can feel overwhelming to even know where to start, though, right?? There are two concrete things you can do right now, in a few minutes time to help ease this time of horror for them a little.
Giving even $20 – that’s just skipping lattes once a week for one month – can be the difference in one more family getting aid. We can all afford this. I would even say we can’t afford not to donate. You never know when you’re going to need that karma coming back your way.
The ACLU has raised over $1,000,000 to help with legal representation for the families. The ACLU is not itself a charity so to make a donation that is tax-deductible, give to the ACLU Foundation. They have a four-star rating from Charity Navigator signifying your money goes directly where it helps most. Click the link above for direct website.
This nonprofit is a Texas-based group using the money to pay the bond for parents being held away from their children and to pay for legal services for the children in the courts. They are a more ‘boots on the ground’ option, directly working with the families as I type. Click the link above for website and more information about the Leaf Project.
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and Baby2Baby have also set up a Target gift registry to send diapers, soap, formula and other supplies to aid organizations at the border and with the detention sites. Most places say monetary support is more helpful, but if this feels right for you, do it!
Neither of those speaking to you as the place you want to donate? This Article by Dahlia Lithwick and Margo Schlanger lists several other options.
Again, this step is quick and important regardless of your political leanings. We all want this stopped and a better solution found. Call your Senators and Representative and tell them to get to work! It literally takes 2 steps and less than 3 minutes, promise.
- Click THIS LINK to find your Representative by searching for your zip code. Use THIS LINK to find your Senators. On the Senatorial page, use the drop-down and select your state. Or get all the contact info from 5calls.org by searching for your zip code.
- Call. You’ll likely get a voicemail and that’s ok – it counts too. I like 5calls because they break it down and give you an exact script you can read. Helps if you get paralyzing phone call anxiety and have a tendency to stutter and clam up like me. However, it does have a left-lean politics-wise, so if you don’t like their message, you can also just say something short and sweet like,
“Hi, my name is [First and Last Name], I live at [full street address and zip code so they record your call] and want [Representative or Senator’s name] to know as a [mom, teacher, doctor, human…], I oppose Trump’s policy of separating families at the border and demand they use all of Congress’s authority to come up with an immediate solution.”
Do something. Today. Together we can make this right. Most if not all of us reading this post are incredibly blessed to not have anything like this to face in our life. Most of us will have a moment, though, of having your child wander off in a crowd and not being able to find them, which is scary enough. Check in tomorrow for how to prevent and fix this situation for yourself.
Dr. Annie is a married mother of 2 and family physician in the Sacramento area.