Hearing the heartbreaking stories of families being separated at the border can make you feel helpless, but people everywhere are beginning to take a stand—including the youngest among us.
“Kids Take a Stand” is a nationwide event taking place this Saturday, July 28, and it's a way for kids and their families to help the migrant families who have been separated and detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. The idea is simple: Kids and families are encouraged to host lemonade stands to raise awareness of the ongoing separation of families, as well as funds for the purpose of speeding up the reunification process.
The Department of Justice’s “zero tolerance” policy has led to the separation of more than 2,300 children from their parents at the U.S. border. Families caught crossing the border illegally have been placed in government-contracted shelters, and children have been subsequently separated from their parents. A court ruling has called for all separated children to be reunited with their parents, but as of now, many kids still remain in government, institutional or foster care.
We struggle with how much detail to share with [kids] on an issue that is as emotional as this one.
You might think that a lemonade stand couldn’t possibly make much of an impact on this complex issue, but just last month, mom-of-two Shannon Cofrin Gaggero helped her 6-year-old son set up his own lemonade stand and together they raised more than $13,000! The donations were raised through an actual lemonade stand outside of their home, as well as a “virtual” stand in the form of a Facebook fundraising page set up by Gaggero. The “Kids Take a Stand” event this Saturday is being sponsored by Lawyer Moms of America, and all proceeds from the lemonade stands will benefit Project Corazon, a coalition of law firms and immigration law nonprofits dedicated to providing legal aid for the safe reunification of families.
“As parents, we have all struggled with how to explain to our kids what is going on with the family separation issue," Jasmine Blackmeir, a lawyer from California and a member of Lawyer Moms of America, said in a statement. “We want to raise socially aware and compassionate children, and yet we struggle with how much detail to share with them on an issue that is as emotional as this one. ‘Kids Take a Stand’ provides a much-needed opportunity for kids and families to raise awareness about this issue in a kid-appropriate way.”
So far, lemonade stands are launching in cities from San Francisco all the way to Washington, D.C. A Facebook page detailing the event has more information for kids and their families who are interested in participating.