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Kansas City group brings donations to Haitian migrants at Mexican border

Mexico US Border Haitian migrants
Posted at 4:00 AM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 07:38:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas City-based organization is getting ready to drive down to the Mexican border with a truck-load of supplies for the Haitian migrants waiting there.

Youthfront, a youth ministry group, has been collecting donations from local churches, neighbors, friends and family. On Wednesday, staff and volunteers loaded those supplies into a U-Haul truck, ready to hit the road Friday morning.

Tens of thousands of Haitian migrants are waiting at the border right now. Many of them have been on a years-long journey through South America, driven from their home country by political unrest and natural disasters. Most are now hoping to seek asylum in the U.S.

While they wait, supplies are running short.

Kurt Rietema is the senior director of YF Neighborhood, a group within Youthfront that aims to break down barriers between different neighborhoods, cultures and people.

Rietema said he and his wife have been helping migrant camps on the Mexican side of the border for years. He has a friend who is currently at the Mexican border who told him how dire the situation is, and Rietema felt compelled to help.

"It breaks our hearts and we want to stand in solidarity with people no matter where they're coming from and help out [any] way that we can and also just listen to their stories," he said.

The group's truck is full for this trip, but they're still accepting cash donations that will be used to buy more supplies once they get to Mexico. Donors can specify on the donation page that they want their contribution to be used for.

The group also plans to make several more trips to the border in the next few months.

They're especially in need of tents, cots, sleeping bags and winter clothes.

Contact Kurt Rietema at krietema@youthfront.com for more information.