Journey of Hope

Volunteers Jeremy Denniston and Jill Clary collect some of the hundreds of items donated within hours of word going out Monday that Holy Family Institute in Emsworth would be caring for 50 of the estimated 2,300 children taken from their parents at the southern border over the last two weeks as part of the Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy. Initially, children less than a year old to teenagers were being held in detention camps and a “tent city” in Texas, resulting in a nationwide protest by Democrats and Republicans alike. Area residents welcomed the opportunity to help the children. In one donated item, Clary found a colorful note that said “You are loved very much.” Denniston owns Bellevue’s Cyclops Cafe, and immediately offered his business as a drop-off location for the many local residents who wanted to help the children. A wish list was obtained from HFI, and the donations started pouring in. HFI’s “Journey of Hope” initiative has responded to the needs of homeless immigrant children several times in the past, housing Haitian children orphaned in a disaster in 2010, and taking in unaccompanied youths from Central and South America who sought refuge at the American border in 2014. So many donations have been received this week that HFI has announced that it cannot take any more items. People who would like to donate money can do so by visiting the HFI Web site at www.hfi-pgh.org and donating on-line, or by mailing checks made out to Holy Family Foundation, to 8235 Ohio River Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15202. “donors can designate “Journeys of Hope” on the check’s memo line. Any items already donated locally that cannot be used by HFI will be directed to other programs that care for children.