Methodists respond to border crisis with donations

Jul. 30, 2014 @ 10:48 AM

The North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, which includes the Eastern half of the state, is collecting socks and underwear to send to the U.S./Mexico border.
The Rev. Rosanna Panizo-Valladares, pastor of the Sanctuary at Lakewood UMC in Durham, is organizing the effort. She ministers to the Latino community in Alamance and Durham counties, and the initiative began at an Alamance church and then snowballed. She received calls from several United Methodist churches in the region, and the collection sites have been extended to this weekend.
“I think that unaccompanied children coming from Central America, regardless of where we stand on immigration, should bring compassion. I consider them refugees,” she said, who are fleeing violence. Several of the kids already have relatives here, Panizo-Valladares said.
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, who leads the N.C. Conference of the UMC, joined the call along with UMC and Episcopal bishops in Los Angeles for a weekend of “Compassion and Prayer for Unaccompanied Migrant Children” earlier this month. The United Methodist Church Council of Bishops Executive Committee also called for prayer and compassion in response to the humanitarian crisis this month.
Donation sites in the Triangle include Haw River United Methodist Church, 127 Church Circle Drive in Haw River, which will receive donations from 9 a.m. to noon through Friday. Sanctuary at Lakewood UMC at 2317 Chapel Hill Road in Durham will receive donations from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday only; and Luz del Pueblo/White Plains UMC Annex will receive donations from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday only at 500 SE Maynard Road in Cary.
Only socks and underwear clothing donations will be accepted. All sizes are needed. The socks and underwear will be shipped to the border. Other local churches have also already collected donations, Panizo-Valladares said. Some Methodist churches in the Rio Grande area are organizing and coordinating the effort, she said, and will distribute the socks and underwear sent from North Carolina.
Financial donations for the conference’s response may also be sent to Durham Hispanic Ministries, Attn: Rev. Rosanna Panizo-Valladares, 307 Hammond St., Durham, N.C. 27704. Make checks out to Durham Hispanic Ministries.
Also, Luz del Pueblo in Cary will host a choir from New York City at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14 that will sing a cantata called “Undocumented Hands.”
For information about the N.C. UMC conference, visit http://nccumc.org.

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