Make like the Three Kings and give
For many in the Latino community, a big holiday tradition is extending the holiday celebration until January 6, Three Kings Day. According to the legend, on that day, the "Magi of Bethlehem," also known as the Three Kings Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar, extended their good will and welcoming presents to the newborn Baby Jesus. In that same spirit of hope, acceptance and generosity that defines the holiday season, the Border Kids Relief Project's first annual holiday donation drive (#3Kings4BorderKids) will run through Jan. 6, 2015 and will benefit Mary’s Center, a DC-based non-profit organization that has been providing much-needed physical and mental health care, as well as legal assistance to unaccompanied minors from the very beginning.
Mary’s Center, is a federally qualified health center that provides health care, family literacy and social services to individuals whose needs too often go unmet by the public and private systems. Mary’s Center uses a holistic, multi-pronged approach to help each participant access individualized services that set them on the path toward good health, stable families, and economic independence.
The Center was founded in 1988 at a time, similar to now, when the United States was witnessing an influx of undocumented immigrants who needed health services. In recent times, Mary’s Center has provided more than 500 newly arrived children with wraparound care services, including counseling and mental health, comprehensive medical care and linkages to community resources such as clothing, legal advice, housing, and education. This unexpected expense was not in their budget and Mary’s Center cannot and will not turn any child away.
Donations will enable Mary’s Center to provide for the unique medical, educational, and mental health needs of children who have endured unthinkable trauma in their desperate search for a safe haven. It serves nearly 40,000 people, has six locations in the D.C.-metropolitan area, and staffs 450 employees. It offers 20 different programs that serve clients from more than 100 countries.
The goal of the holiday drive is to raise $10,000. Every penny raised will go directly to Mary's Center, which will use the funds to provide the children with toys on Three Kings day, and to continue their mission over the next year. Donations can be made online here.
Although the initial frenzy about the fate of these children has subsided, the fact is that there is still a lot of work being done by organizations on the ground to help these children in their transition. It's easy to forget how fortunate we all are to be able to enjoy the holidays with our families. These children are away from their loved ones and lack a sound support system. We hope to be able to continue our mission of supporting the organizations who are helping them, and to bring a touch of holiday magic into their lives.