Border relief agencies appeal for help of their own to meet growing demand

Needs increase as more migrants arrive at the border

SAN ANTONIO – Relief groups, many of them faith-based organizations, are appealing for help of their own to meet the needs that are growing along the border.

“We’re seeing increased traffic, and we’re expecting that to continue,” said Dan Klein, chair of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition.

Klein said the Interfaith Welcome Coalition has been funneling thousands of dollars in donations to the relief groups on the front lines, in addition to its mission of helping newly released migrants reach their families in the U.S.

Klein said the coalition has become the preferred conduit for donors to direct funds and assistance to those organizations.

“Not a whole lot of bureaucracy. We’re fast and nimble, and those organizations are terrific,” he said.

Klein said those groups and the Interfaith Welcome Coalition itself still need more of the public’s help.

The coalition is appealing for donations and volunteers on its Facebook page and specific items on its Amazon wishlist.

Catholic Charities also has its own Amazon wishlist. So does the Val Verde Humanitarian Border Coalition, along with an appeal for donations and volunteers on its Facebook page. Mission: Border Hope in Eagle Pass asks that donations be made on PayPal.

Klein said many groups prefer financial contributions that can be spent on whatever is needed most, but other donations are welcome. He said humanitarian aid has ranged from small gifts to support those like Lutheran World Relief and the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, as well as college students and medical students offering their help.

“Amazing -- all the people involved in the effort, especially on the border -- people with huge hearts, huge amount of compassion and dedication,” Klein said.

About the Authors

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.

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