Since becoming a mom 9 years ago, the thought of any child suffering has become agonizing to me. So, when I recently heard about the horrible living conditions of many asylum-seeking migrant children detained at the Southern U.S. border (little-or-no access to soap, toothbrushes, water, food, medical care, beds or blankets), I was completely heartbroken.
The very next day, as I drove my 9-year-old son Simon to camp, I lamented that there was no protest I could attend and nothing I could do to help. He said, “You could start something.” And, you know what? He was right. He further suggested that this thing I could start should be called, “Babies Need Blankets.” Spoiler alert: I own a Phoenix-based, baby blanket business called Robot Bunnies.
My company already donates a blanket for every one we sell to a child in the US foster care system (in conjunction with the awesome NGO Arizona Helping Hands). We do this because, as I mentioned, I hate the thought of any child being deprived, mistreated or endangered in any way. I know from those donations how much our blankets are loved and appreciated by kids in need. Having something soft and soothing that is all their own means the world.
It was clear that Simon’s idea was right on. We needed to bring as many of our snuggly and comforting blankets to migrant children at the border as possible, but there was a hitch. As a start-up, I simply did not have the funds to do so on my own. Thus, “Babies at the Border Need Blankets” was born. We quickly set up a Go Fund Me page with a goal to raise $20,000 by July 25th in order to produce and transport 1000 blankets to the border by August 25th. Then, we reached out to everyone we know to donate and/or share our cause on social media.
To our amazement and delight, we’ve collected over $3000 and had 99 shares on Facebook, but we still have some time left and a long way to go to reach our goal. So, if like me you feel the deep pang to do something to help these innocent kids but don’t know what, here’s something easy and impactful. Click through to Go Fund Me and give whatever you can and/or help us spread the word. EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. Then follow our journey on Instagram (@robotbunnies) and/or Facebook.
Whatever amount we ultimately raise; all funds will go toward blanket production and transportation. My family will drive them to the El Paso, TX border to distribute to migrant children/families awaiting asylum hearings in shelters on the Mexican side in Juarez. (Unfortunately, donated goods cannot legally be given to children already in US custody).
With the time frame of our initiative and the short Arizona summer break, I expect Simon will miss a day or two of school when we drive the blankets to Juarez. I’m not worried though because I’m pretty sure the experience will be chock full of powerful life lessons he will never forget and, after all, it was his idea.