We’ve all heard the stories and seen the photos. Children in detention denied basic supplies like soap, a toothbrush, and blankets. Families living in squalid conditions in overcrowded detention centers.

Our kids have too. And they have questions, lots of questions. How did we get here? What can we do to help?

Here’s a sampling of some of the questions my 5 year old and 9 year old have asked:

Can we invite some of those kids to live with us? Why don’t the mommies and daddies just take their kids to a hotel? Why can’t the kids have soap and toothbrushes? Are the kids going to school? Do they get to play? Can I send them some of my toys?

Kids are natural helpers and problem solvers. They see kids (and their parents) in distress and want to do something about it.

Here are 3 activities I am doing with my own kids to help migrant children and their families.

Host a lemonade stand

On Saturday, July 27th and Sunday, July 28th, kids and families across the nation will host lemonade stands to raise awareness of the ongoing separation of migrant children from their families and the current plight of children in detention centers across the country and raise funds to support migrant families.

Take a Stand for migrant families is being organized by Lawyer Moms of America. Funds raised from the lemonade stands will be donated to Rio Grande Valley Rapid Response and KIND (Kids in Need of Defense). The mission of Rio Grande Valley Rapid Response is to welcome, orient, feed, clothe, and otherwise serve the immigrants and refugees being released en masse in the Rio Grande Valley. KIND has a robust national network of pro bono attorneys who have represented unaccompanied children in their search for safety, and provides legal services and social services for released migrant children.

For more information and to register your lemonade stand, click here.

Start a fundraiser

Here’s an easy one.

Have your kids give up for a month a treat you buy for them on a regular basis and donate the money instead to one of the many organizations helping migrant children.

My kids are giving up ice cream treats at the neighborhood pool for the month of August and putting it towards a fundraiser for KIND. They hope to raise $75, which is enough to buy basic school supplies for a migrant child starting school in the U.S. Four kids, 15 trips to the pool, and $3 an ice cream treat, I’m sure they will be able to meet their goal.

For more information on KIND fundraisers, click here.

Join a pen pal program

Looking for a way to encourage your kid to write?

Join a pen pal program for migrant families and their children, such as the one run by First Friends of NJ/NY. Another easy activity for your kids to do for First Friends is putting together a Stamp Out Despair package, containing writing materials (stationary, stamps, and envelopes) for a detained migrant to correspond with family and friends.

Do you have any other easy ideas for your kids to do to help migrant children? Leave a comment or send me an email.

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Copyright © 2019 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.