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Harlingen man raises money to purchase necessities for released migrants

Local News

DONNA, Texas (KVEO) — A local organization is looking to help migrants after they are released from custody with necessary items, such as shoelaces.

For instance, when migrants are taken into custody, their shoelaces are taken away as a safety precaution. They don’t get those items back when released to a family member or sponsor.

MAKING HEADLINES: Journalists get their first look at Donna migrant processing facility

Wanting to make their already difficult circumstances a little easier, Oscar Lopez, who runs the nonprofit Latinx Poderosos, purchased more than 150 pairs of shoelaces to donate and is now calling on the community to help. 

Since sharing a post on Facebook alerting others of the migrant’s circumstances just two days ago, he has already received $600 in donations and made the first delivery of more than 300 pairs. 

“Folks have to understand that every belonging these folks have is usually on their hands,” Lopez said. “They lost everything else along the way, so we have to help them have a sense of humanity, that’s the overall goal.” 

He’s teaming up with the nonprofit Team Brownsville to get donations to the migrants. Besides shoelaces, they need hygienic products, clothing and underwear. 

What happens to unaccompanied migrant children when they turn 18?

Lopez created a fundraiser to help buy these items as more migrants are seeking help. His goal is to raise $10,000 and said any amount helps. If you can’t donate, Lopez said sharing the fundraiser will go a long way. 

He also hopes to bring awareness to the poor conditions and to encourage empathy and tolerance. 

“If nothing else, let’s say we don’t make the money we want, but social media picks up and people share it… people’s humanity comes out and they realize these are just folks like you and me minding their own business wanting to have a better life for them and their families, but they’re caught in the middle of a cartel war,” he said. “There’s no food for them or employment. So, we would do the exact same thing if we were in their shoes.” 

Though the goal is $10,000, if it’s reached, he plans to increase it as the demand for basic necessities continues to grow. 

Click here to visit the fundraiser.

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