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This fall, Open Arms was blessed to organize collections toward the national MCC immigration detainee care kit drive. You can read more about the drive-in Raul Tadeo’s article:

For nearly 100 years, MCC has been walking alongside and offering relief to those who are hungry and without clothing or water.  Today MCC is actively working to support people who are seeking a better life for themselves and their families by migrating to the U.S.

Recently MCC has started collecting IMMIGRATION DETAINEE CARE KITS to provide clothes and basic human needs for men, women and children seeking refuge and who have been detained by U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). When immigrants are released, after days, weeks, or months of detention, they are released with nothing but the clothes they have traveled with and often shoes without shoelaces, and the hope of being reunited with some family member to meet them at their destination. The kits provide individuals with a glimmer of hope that the journey they have endured is worth it and gives them back dignity that they have lost in the process of being in the hands of our government detention system. The kits include hygiene items and clothing.

MCC is partnering with the South Texas Response Teams, a group of local pastors working with a number of religious organizations, to distribute kits to people as they leave detention and are taken to bus stations or airports to reconnect with the families.

Open Arms Hispanic Ministries, led by Haroldo Nunes, Executive Director, sponsored an event for the collecting Kits. Churches, from Wayne and Holmes Counties, of Ohio, were invited to join together for the assembling of the kits.  On the evening of October 2, approximately 120 people came together at the Orrville Mennonite church, Orrville, Ohio.  A good number of youth and adults from various area churches came to help complete the kits.

Volunteers learn more about the Immigration Kits

Kathy Troyer did a great job in organizing the work that needed to be done to complete the kits. Several work stations, tables with hygiene items and clothing of various sizes, were set up throughout the church. These were manned by Open Arms board members, helping in the assembly process. Several youth groups participated in the assembling process, plus a good number of adults.  There was an attendance of 120 people present. 

When the kits were all assembled and ready for shipment, they were carried out the door and onto the MCC truck where they were placed in the shipping boxes and packed for shipment.  The amount of kits completed was approximately 175. A local business, P Graham Dunn, offered to ship the kits and pay for the freight charges.

Kits’ contents, as well as financial donations for kit items, were given by 17 participating Churches and church members. The total given was  close to $1,500.00 in cash.

This is an excerpt from the October 2019 Newsletter. Read the full newsletter here.