I am pleased to share that all of the children in our care who were separated from their families are in telephone contact with them, and some have been reunited. We are working diligently with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to reunite the remaining families. We will post an update here when all families are together again.
The outpouring of support during the last month has left us speechless, and with resources we never expected. From Spanish language coloring books to classroom supplies, games, flip flops, Foosball (yes, Foosball!), and even the suitcases the children will take when they leave, we are blessed to have received everything they needed–and more.
Even after the separated children are all reunited with their families we will continue to provide shelter and education for immigrant children who arrive at our border with Mexico without parents or legal guardians. These children arrive year-round and typically live with us 30-45 days until they are placed with qualified sponsors or family members. The plight of these children is also heartbreaking, but while they are at Holy Family we do our best to make them feel safe, loved and hopeful. These children with us now and in the coming months will benefit from the bounty of gifts and supplies.
While these children received a great deal attention these last several weeks, we want to remind everyone of the many other children and families we serve. We reached nearly 40,000 people last year in Allegheny, Armstrong and Beaver Counties, and many families need the same resources the immigrant children received—school supplies, clothing beyond the basics, and the little extras that make childhood a happy time. We are grateful that so many of you have encouraged us to use the contributions where they are needed most, and we hope you will consider a gift to our general fund, or a gift card that can be used for children and families in our community. For example, even though a youth has educational potential but is doing poorly, we may find that hunger is the root cause of learning difficulties. Providing our staff with resources to send that child home with food to last until breakfast may make the difference between a good day at school and a bad one.
Thank you for keeping us in your prayers, for sharing your resources, and for trusting in us to use your gifts where they can do the most good when it is needed most.
Sister Linda Yankoski, CSFN, EdD
President & CEO