Sábado 25 de Febrero 2017

Border Kids Relief Project aims to help migrant children

Homeland Security may have recently announced the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border from gang-ravaged countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala is…

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Border Kids Relief Project aims to help migrant children

MISSION, TX – JULY 24: Central American immigrants await transportation to a U.S. Border Patrol processing center after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the Texas on July 24, 2014 near Mission, Texas. The Border Kids Relief Project, founded by Elianne Ramos, focuses on helping and supporting the remaining unaccompanied minors in the states.   (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Homeland Security may have recently announced the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border from gang-ravaged countries such as El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala is on the decline.

While many are being deported back to their country of origin, there are others remaining stateside and stretching the resources of municipalities, schools and charities.

SEE ALSO: America Ferrera pays visit to migrant children

One woman who is helping all of the above – including the kids – is Elianne Ramos, who this past summer founded the Border Kids Relief Project.

Border Kids Relief Project is helping minors.

The community donates clothes and toiletries for unaccompanied minors in the states. (Photo: Courtesy)

“This is an organization that is putting together efforts at the local level in different cities to collect donations for the different agencies that are providing relief to the children,” Ramos told VOXXI. “We are helping food banks. We have many other organizations that are partners with LULAC, Catholic Charities, the Hispanic Foundation and many others.”

As far as the dwindling numbers, Ramos pointed out between last October and this August, the Southwest border saw more than 66,000 children apprehended, mostly coming from Central American countries.

That represented an 88 percent increase over the same period a year earlier.

In addition, more than 10,000 children were apprehended in both May and June, while July saw just more than 5,500, and August around 3,100.

For Ramos, the plight of the children is particularly personal. When she heard about their stories, she didn’t hesitate to use the vast network resources of her own company Speak Hispanic Communications to help the children in need.

“I have been well known in the online world for more than six years with a large Latino network through my own organization,” Ramos said.

“I have a lot of followers. So when I started the initiative, I only had to pick up the phone to get them onboard. That’s what I did.”

Volunteers of Border Kids Relief Project help immigrant children and teens.

Elianne Ramos, fourth from left, poses with members and volunteers of Border Kids Relief Project (Photo: Courtesy)

Not only is Ramos a contributor to the Huffington Post, but she’s also widely acclaimed. In 2012, Ramos received the Best Microblogger Award, LATISM, while in 2013 she received the SmartCEO Brava Award.

SEE ALSO: Why Nicaraguan children aren’t fleeing To US

Now Ramos feels as though the currency she built up based on her blogging credibility is being spent on the Border Kids Relief Project.

“When the news of this story broke, I started rallying up my network online,” Ramos said.

Volunteers package clothing for migrant children.

Volunteers of Border Kids Relief Project (Photo: Courtesy)

“These contacts know how to organize the effort. I started bringing in people in San Diego and so many others. We’ve been doing a lot of these donation drives in different cities like Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. and New York City.”

Overall, there have been 15 different donation drive efforts throughout the country with more planned. Ramos said the goal of the Border Kids Relief Project is to get more people involved.

“The way people can help is by organizing a local drive in their community,” Ramos said.

“I provide the support to bring things together. I connect them to local services in the area and help organize the donation drive in their locality. I’m able to do a lot of the legwork they’d normally have to do. I also connect with other volunteers in their area.”

The highly sought-after donations include specific needs of the organizations, which Ramos said does vary per group.

SEE ALSO: 4,000 mile journey to reunite immigrant children with parents

“Common critical items are shoes and clothing, undergarments, backpacks, snacks and toiletries,” Ramos said. “Depending on where people are located, we direct them to organizations in close geographical proximity so they can save on shipping.”

“We also help people organize their own local drives and connect them to relief organizations in their area, if they prefer to do something bigger.”

For more information, email Ramos at contact@borderkidsrelief.org.

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