DURAND (WJRT) -
(07/08/14) - The immigration crisis has inspired a Mid-Michigan church to offer its help.
A Bible study at the Durand First United Methodist Church discussed the problem at the U.S. border and decided it was time to take action.
They contacted a Catholic nun in McAllen, Texas and offered their help.
"They felt this strong urge from God, that they should be doing something," said Rev. Beverly Marr, of Durand First United Methodist Church.
The nun in Texas said she was able to meet the basic needs of the children, except for one detail.
"She was really having trouble giving them new clothes because after 10 to 14 days on the road, they were pretty ragged and dirty. And so she often would just have them take their clothes off and just throw them away," Marr said.
Church leaders asked the congregation to support a children's clothes drive, anything for children from ages 3-18. There was an urgent need for new underwear.
"There was one family with young ladies in it. They've cleared all their closets out and brought all their stuff in," Marr said.
One 40 pound package of clothing has already been sent.
"We probably have another 100 pounds this week and we're going to be collecting again next Sunday," Marr said.
The church realizes it's a politically-charged issue, but they're looking at the humanitarian aspect.
"We don't want to ever consider what side of immigration we're on. We were just looking at the children. We want to help the children," Marr said.
Because it takes a lot of money to send the clothes to Texas, they want to keep this clothes drive limited to their church.
"It's very costly to send out and we're a small congregation," Marr said.
The church is hoping it will inspire other congregations and community groups to follow their lead and form their own clothing drives for the young Central American immigrants.
If you'd like to send clothing, the address of the Texas church is below:
Sister Norma Sacred Heart Catholic Church 306 S. 15th St. McAllen, TX, 74501 956-455-7086