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Newton community gathers donations to help children in need at southern border

Published: Apr. 11, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The sharp rise in migrant children arriving at the southern border without parents has depleted bed space in shelters overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services. Border patrol is seeing thousands of children in need of help, reaching record levels. In March, nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children entered U.S. custody, an all-time monthly high that has forced the Biden administration to house migrant teenagers in convention centers, camps for oil workers and a military base. In the meantime, thousands are still stranded at the other side of the border.

Two Newton men, Pastor Clinton McBroom, and Andy Ortiz said they want to help the children out, and will be making a trip down to the border this week. They plan on bringing donations they’ve been gathering the last few days.

“It’s been hard to avoid the truth that there’s a situation going on at the border,” said McBroom. " We have just noticed through news and talking to various people that there’s a lot of children that are stranded south of the border, that have not been able to cross over to the United States or receive any kind of assistance.”

McBroom and Ortiz said they felt the need to do something about the situation.

“We understand that there’s males and females, but the kids for us are a soft spot” said Ortiz. “ I love to serve kids, and I love kids big time. So to know that they were out there, and some of the videos that were popping up online, I was like we could do something about that so let’s take action on that.”

Just a few days ago the two organized the mission trip to help bring needed items.

“Andy and I just put our heads together and thought that we could start a drive to collect some basic supplies for children,” said McBroom. “We plan to transport those south to the border and into Mexico to provide to the kids who are stranded at the city parks and the neighborhoods there.”

The two men said the community in Newton has jumped on board.

“I understand how this community functions in the heart of the community,” said Ortiz. “But just to see it in action is just mind blowing, and is breath taking so I’m super proud of our community. We just get to get a vehicle to show off what they do by taking the stuff to the people that they know need it.”

They encourage others to also step in and do good in the community.

“You may not be able to go all the way to Mexico to help in a mission trip like this, but there are people in your community, in your area that need your help,” said McBroom. “We just want to make the world a better place, even if it’s to the people right across the street from us or families a thousand miles away.”

If you would like to donate items you can drop them off in the evenings at Acapulco Restaurant at 217 W. Broadway Newton, or during the day at Newton Furniture and Cabinet Co. at 517 N. Main, Newton.

If you would like to donate money you can do so at First Church of God and select the Mexico fund.

Supplies needed:

-Bottled water

-Non-perishable food, canned goods

-Rice and beans

-Toiletries

-Baby supplies, diapers, wipes, formula, Pedialyte

-First aid kit

-Utensils

-Paper goods

-Sleeping bags/blankets

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