How To Help: Keep Families Together

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I don't know if it's having my own child,  having immigrated with my own parents when I was three or just human decency but I'm losing sleep as I know so many of us are.  And we should.  Because of the zero tolerance immigration policy, in a little over the last month, nearly two thousand children have been taken from their parents. 

I can't look at that image and video by John Moore again without examining that little girl's tear stained cheek and mouth stuck in a petrified wail, her little hands and legs that aren't so different from Bodie's.  I can't listen to that audio of the children, no older than four, begging American patrol officers for their parents without hearing my own child or imagining the damage this country is causing families. 

At 11pm, lying in bed staring at an iPhone in a Flatiron sky-rise, I feel frozen and heavy.  So I donated - a small sum a few days ago to the ACLU and another sum today to RAICES. I'm reading the news a lot.  Not because I want to see the images or hear the audio but because I want to get smart so that the next person who tells me, "well it's just what needs to happen", I can be more educated on explaining why it doesn't.  

And I am reminded that motherhood and parenting, is a powerful thing.  It is a deep connection to something so much bigger than politics or religion or race.  It's given me another degree of empathy and appreciation for human lives and the basic needs in the early years.   Other causes have always been a little bit above my head but this one is so simple that I can't help but feel angry and then feel motivated.  

These are the a handful of things I did and am continuing to do to feel less stuck and more like I can do my little bit of good.  Thank you to all the journalists, influencers and women in my community who have shared advice on small actions that can make big movements. 

1. Donate if you can, what you can to ACLU and RAICES.  The fundraiser for RAICES is designed to fund legal needs to reunite children with their parents. 

2. Text "TOGETHER" to 213-33.  Call your senator to say you live in a particular area and that you support the Keep Families Together act. Here's a template I found on what to say:  "Hi, my name is [A], I live in area code [B], and I'm calling to ask Senator [C] to do everything to support the Keep Families Together Act.

I live in New York and Senator Schumer was an original co-sponsor on the bill so while I had a lovely chat with one of his office crew, States with Republican senators could use the most calls.

3. Send basic care to the children. Baby2Baby has set up a registry to gather essentials - diapers, blankets, etc. - to create bundles of necessities for immigrant children.

4. Follow the news.  I really think if we stay focused on it, the powers that be will have to to. 

5. Consider joining in on June 30.  I've always been intimidated by big crowds and marches but this organized effort across the country is what makes America really great. 

The linking of arms and the groundswell of emotion and effort is such a reminder that there is more good than bad.  While it's sickening to watch this unfold, it's incredible to see the outpouring of us who refuse to turn away, assuming it's far away. 

Feel free to comment below but I know this is a complicated time with lots of personal reactions. xo