This month, AWB volunteers began offering free acupuncture relief clinics for migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and community first responder volunteers at the international bridge that connects Brownsville, Texas to Matamoros, Mexico. AWB is also starting a winter weather clothing drive to support people living under and next to the bridge.
The international bridge is one of the “points of entry” at which people can apply for asylum. Essentially, it is closed, allowing only a few people to be “processed” each day. People are living on the Mexico side of the bridge with few survival resources. Meanwhile, those who have managed to get through, are placed in detention centers for several weeks and then released without food or money. Detention centers in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) have been releasing 300-400 people a day since June 2018. Often families are left with nowhere to go while they wait for their asylum paperwork to be processed. Some end up sleeping under the international bridge on the Texas side.
Community first responder volunteer groups, including Las Angry Tias & Abuelas of the RGV, Team Brownsville, and Catholic Charities, have been assisting asylum seekers with food, water, clothes, transportation assistance, shelter, medicine, and toiletries. They have been working around the clock nonstop since the summer, and some volunteers have been experiencing secondary trauma.
AWB is joining with these groups to provide stress and trauma reduction support to migrants as well as volunteers. You can help in the following ways:
- Send warm winter clothing for distribution at the bridge. Gently used coats, gloves, hats, socks, warm clothes for adults and children are welcome. You can send your donation directly to one of the coordinators of Las Angry Tias y Abuelas: Cindy Candia, 22737 N. Oscar Street, Harlingen, TX 78552. Please include a note indicating that you are an AWB member or friend.
- Make a financial donation to the AWB Refugee Support Project by clicking below. Funds will be used for supplies and volunteer transportation.