RDF Hosts a Clothing Drive For Refugees

RDF Hosts a Clothing Drive For Refugees

“For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”

Matthew 25:35-36

This deep-rooted belief in serving poor families in everything we do at the Raza Development Fund. That’s why RDF is proud to host a clothing drive starting today, Wednesday, April 20 – Friday, April 29 for immigrant refugees as we strive to lend them a hand along their difficult journey.

Recently, Tom Espinoza, RDF’s President & CEO, along with a few members of the RDF Familia took a tour of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Phoenix. This organization, a refugee resettlement agency in the U.S., provides services for mothers, fathers their children refugees, asylees and other immigrants enter the US. IRC is the first stopping point for these individuals arriving in Phoenix to figure out their living arrangements, get in touch with relatives.

As we toured this impactful organization, it was a stark reminder of the circumstances and conditions these families are overcoming. They leave their country with a pittance of money, traveling thousands of miles through treacherous experiences, robbery, rape, extorsion of family members, stealing children for sex trafficking, and spending months, years in insect and rat-infested camps waiting at the Mexican border to be allowed entrance into the U.S. All with the hope that their integration to the U.S. will be successful allowing for them to maximize their strengths and opportunities and turn them into a better future for their family.

“Many of these families are escaping very difficult situations of violence in hopes of starting a new life and are in need of basic things like clothing, undergarments and toiletries. They are the most vulnerable,” says Rosie Villegas-Smith, RDF’s Consultant who helped to organize the IRC tour.

Sister Norma Pimentel delivers a motivating speech during RDF’s all staff retreat.

Of course, this is not our team’s first exposure to the realities for refugees, but we have been passionately motivated to do more after connecting with Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley – an organization that provides shelter, clothing and food for migrant families. In our staff retreat last August, she powerfully expressed the purpose of her work encouraging us all.

“Why do we do this? ‘Cause they’re people. Not because they’re immigrants, but because they’re people. They’re human beings and we belong to the human race where we must be accountable for one another. We were brought into this world to create a world that is safe for everybody, for all life,” Sister Norma said. “If I couldn’t change the laws and the policies that are in place to respect human life, I most certainly could welcome them and receive them with the love that they deserve.”

That is our main goal through this clothing drive.

 

Melissa McDonald, RDF’s Chief Operating Officer, looks at the piles of clothes and donated items at Catholic Charities migrant shelter.

What can I donate?

(New or gently used) Clothing for men, women, and children:

  • Jackets
  • Tops / t-shirts
  • Pants
  • Jeans
  • Dresses
  • Under garments (new)
  • Shoes
  • Hats and belts
  • Shoelaces

 

New Hygiene Items:

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Kleenex
  • Shampoo
  • Body wash
  • Body lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste

How do I donate?

You can donate in two ways:

  1. Drop off your items at:

RDF’s Office – 410 E. Southern Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85040

Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm

To schedule a drop-off please call 602-417-1400.

2. Visit our Amazon wish list to order your items and have them delivered straight to our office

Can I deliver directly to IRC? 

We prefer and highly encourage you to drop off your items at RDF. To respect these individuals and families as they continue to undergo a difficult journey, we hope to minimize the traffic arriving to IRC and allow the organization to support those in need. Our RDF team members will take great care to organize them and present them to IRC on a special delivery day.

“I hope we can brighten their faces and send them nice items for their journey. I would like us to have a good number of donations to help these families – for our community to show we care,” Rosie says.

Get started early on your spring cleaning and clear out those new or gently used items from your closets. When you give a little, you can help a lot.

We are excited to receive your donations starting today, Wednesday, April 20th until Friday, April 29th!

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