Catholic Charities’ Response to the Border Crisis and How You Can Help Those Most Vulnerable

A father and son leaving the Humanitarian Respite Center to continue on with their journey.

BRIDGEPORT – For over a year, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County has kept a watchful eye on the crisis at the border. In July 2018, Al Barber made the decision to send agency representative Maria Palacios down to the Humanitarian Respite Center in Texas after receiving a call for help from their executive director, Sister Norma Pimentel.

But that is only a piece of what the agency continues to do to aid immigrants and refugees.

Catholic Charities’ Immigration Services works non-stop to help those currently within the United States, providing consultation on immigration related problems, and accredited representation at USCIS Immigration appointments. Family Directions, the agency’s adoption services program, has made itself available to International Social Services, offering to provide local services to those in need. And the agency continues to field calls and messages from local residents looking to help in any way possible.

Bishop Frank Caggiano’s recent statement has many people asking, “What can I do to help?”

Catholic Charities President Al Barber states, “This current situation is not new and continues to evolve. And according to our sources, it is also very real. We are monitoring it closely and doing our best to voice the needs of those most vulnerable – the children. It is important for those who want to get involved to do the same.”

Most recently, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, has issued a statement calling for compassion, commitment and engagement in response to the crisis, in particular the suffering of young people who have been separated from their parents and family members. He has urged all to get involved through prayer, advocacy and action.

If you want to help those impacted at the border Catholic Charities offers the following recommendations:

Toiletries for men and women (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, etc)
Shoes (sandals, tennis shoes, loafers, etc) for men, women, children and infants of all sizes
Clothes (pants, t-shirts, blouses, underclothing, etc) for children and adults of all sizes
Baby supplies for toddlers (Pampers, baby wipes, baby bottles, etc.) 
Sealed snack food (granola bars, chips, peanut butter & cheese crackers, etc)
Gift cards to purchase food items
Phone cards
Plastic bags for families to pack sandwiches, snacks, and water for their trip.Send your donations to Humanitarian Respite Center
c/o Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley
700 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd
San Juan Tx 78589
Please specify that your donation is for the Humanitarian Center 
To Go to our Amazon Wish List, please click on the link below:

Amazon Wish List 

*When ready to purchase item(s) needed for the center, please select the Humanitarian Respite Center (In-Kind) address listed for the shipping.

For more information about Catholic Charities’ Immigration Services, visit

Written by Amy Zajac, MSW

Corporate Offices: 238 Jewett Ave Bridgeport, CT 06606
Fax: 203.372.5045

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