Bay Area women delivering donations at Texas child detention centers

- A group of Bay Area women who call themselves “The McAllen 12” will travel to South Texas on Friday to deliver donations for children being held at detention centers.

The women are all from San Mateo County and said they were compelled to do something after seeing images of children in detention facilities and separated from their parents. 

“The outpouring has been spectacular,” Lilli Rey said. 

Donations have poured in from people across the Peninsula. The group has gathered clothes for all ages, toys, books, and gift cards totaling more than $2,300.

“We also have Amazon orders being delivered to the hotel and we’ll bring that with us to the central processing center in McAllen, Texas,” Rey said.

The idea for the trip came last Saturday after they heard Congresswoman Jackie Speier would be visiting a detention facility on the border. As her constituents, the group wanted to be there in solidarity. While they will not be going inside any centers, the donations are the next best thing.

“We can’t replace parents but we can get as close as possible,” Kathy Breaux said. “A teddy bear and a nice piece of clothing is not going to take the place of a mommy’s hug.”

The women get emotional every time they think of children being separated from their parents.

“We can’t imagine it,” Breaux said. “It doesn’t ever represent ever represent what we feel is the tone of America. Rejecting families… ripping them apart… my gosh that’s not who we are.”

The group will fly out of SFO on Friday morning on two separate flights. They will deliver their donations to the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and other organizations. They will return to the Bay Area Saturday night.

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