LENEXA, Kan. — Heart to Heart International is sending hygiene kits to the four cities along the U.S. border with Mexico, where many are declaring a humanitarian crisis regarding the treatment of asylum seekers.
The Lenexa-based nonprofit has sent 13,000 kits so far this year.
Last year, it built more than 100,000 hygiene kits to send all over the world.
Heart to Heart Chief Executive Officer Kim Carroll told 41 Action News that demand is high because "the numbers have increased dramatically. In May of 2018, approximately 9,500 individuals were seeking asylum and were processed to seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2019, that number has reached almost 84,000."
It's an issue gaining bipartisan support.
Congressional Democrats and many Republicans have been outraged for more than a year after a new Department of Justice policy regarding the separation of families at the border came to light.
"You can't take 12- and 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls and say, 'Show up at some future time,'" Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, said. "So, we have to take care of these kids."
Heart to Heart is sending a team to cities along the border — Deming and Las Cruces, New Mexico, and El Paso and McAllen, Texas — next week to meet with the organizations it's partnering with to assess the need.
Find out about ways to support Heart to Heart's mission.