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Santa Barbara non-profit groups hold clothing drive for immigrant children

A local organization and church are putting together a clothing drive for immigrant children that have been separated from their families.

Blankets, towels, diapers, and clothing are all piling up at Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara.

“Our immigration advocacy collaborative group has been meeting here at Trinity every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and one of the objectives is to help unite the community on issues like family separation and forceful separation,” said Jaqueline Inda.

Inda is just one of many volunteers at the Santa Barbara Response Network who helped organize a clothing drive for immigrant children who’ve been separated from their families.

“We have these boxes that we have coordinated throughout the city and the boxes are part of a national effort to collect supplies throughout the State to transport them over to the border,” said Inda.

Drop off boxes will be placed across the city. Trinity will be the central location for donation drop-offs.

“What we are hoping to do is to continue the pickup through Sunday,” said Inda. “Sunday will be a march where people will get together at noon at De La Guerra Plaza and we will continue to do the collection there. Once we have all of the supplies together we will connect with the state efforts and get the supplies transported to the boarder.”

“We have a partnership with the Mexican consulate and thanks to that, we know about some shelters on the other side of the boarder where we can take those clothes,” Gabriel Lucator, another volunteer that is helping organize the drive.

“We also know that 20% of families who have the ability to change their legal status have now stopped applying for citizenship because of the fear of the application process might go wrong,” said Inda. “Then they would have to go through a deportation process.”

Trinity Episcopal Church, located at 1500 State Street, wants to do all they can to help keep families together.

“We have set up a network where we can be alerted if someone needs a ride to the doctor, or they are scared to pick up their children from school, or they need help getting groceries, we are trying to meet any kind of need there is,” said Rev. Art Stevens, Trinity’s retired priest. “ICE is not going away and Trinity wants to be very involved in this like many other faith communities.”

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