Dear All, We all yearn for something we can do to make a difference to mitigate the epic cruelty of Trump and his quislings.
Yesterday a simple list of how to help the children, who were ripped from their parents during the recent ICE raids in Mississippi, arrived via a trusted grassroots activist network. It provides clearcut marching orders that will help ease the sense of isolation and pain those children are suffering.
The mitzvah is courtesy of Lilliana Vazquez, a “Today Show” staffer, who contacted school personnel in Scott County, MS to find out what people can do to support the children as effectively — and quickly — as possible.
Regardless of what you donate, please consider conveying crucial emotional support by writing a personal note as well. Speak from your heart. Tell these children that there are good people who are fighting for them and their families, that they are not alone.
Finally, I guarantee that following through on Lilliana’s suggestions detailed below in her own words, will be an antidote to whatever hideous Trump news story breaks next. Heartfelt thanks to Lilliana for leading the way. Onward.
How to Help the Children: Over the last week I'm sure many of you have read about the ICE raids that took place in and around Scott County Mississippi. Politics aside -- the images of children alone, scared and shocked that they might never see their parents again shook me to my core. When I started school in Ft. Worth, TX, I didn't speak a word of English. Despite having two wonderful parents at home and a rich community of aunts, uncles and cousins to love and support me, I still remember how terrified and isolated I felt going to school each day because I couldn't speak English. It's a feeling I'll never forget and when I saw these children's faces on TV my heart broke into pieces. I immediately saw my 5-year old self in them, but then I remembered that my 5-year old self had a family to come home to. I had parents who would walk me into my classroom each day and be waiting for me with smiles and hugs at the end of the day.
The children of Scott County lost that and more. They lost their Mom, their Dad, their sense of security and their sense of home. I won't pretend to understand how they are feeling, but I see the devastation in their faces and no child should ever feel like they are less than, hopeless or abandoned.
Like many of you, I felt angry, heartbroken and fearful for the fate of these children, our children, so I contacted the head of the Scott County school district and asked one simple question: How can I be of service?
Tony McGee is the Superintendent and he had two simple requests — here are his words:
If you wish to help, a gift card in any amount would be greatly appreciated. The school district will take care of buying and putting care packages together and delivering them to families. Last night, we could see the effects of fathers being taken from the home and mothers concerned about how to travel and pay bills to support children. Many times the fathers work to provide the finical support, while mothers help care for children. In other cases, fathers and mothers of our Latino and Hispanic community work split hours and now one or both parents have lost this income. There is still much fear and a lack of trust, so providing that service in the homes allows families to stay secure and helps our district build back positive relationships with families. Thank you so much for caring for our kids and families. We have felt the love and support from our country to the families of Scott County and hope this, in some way, will help bridge the gap and ensure the well-being of our children, as we move forward.
Tony, like myself, is a voracious reader and believes in the power and magic that books can provide for a child, so he also asked me to purchase one copy of Her Right Foot / American History Book for Kids by Dave Eggers - a beautiful picture book about how this country was built through immigration.
Here’s how to help:
1. Purchase a (Visa, Amazon, Amex) gift card in ANY amount and send to either address below.
2. Purchase a copy of Her Right Foot and send to either address below. And if your heart moves you, include a personal note or card and let these children know they are loved by you, supported by you and most importantly, that they are not alone.
Donations can be sent to - NYC (local):*
I will aggregate all donations and send a package next week
32 Union Square East,1008
New York, NY 10003
Donations can be sent directly to MISSISSIPPI: Dr. Regina Biggers Scott County School District
110 Commerce Loop
Forest, MS 39074
Thank you for showing Scott County the beauty and power of community.
You make me proud to be an American every day.