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The Unseen Effects of the Border Crisis

By Brianna Flaherty and Toni Brannagan

border-giveback-menstrual-equity

It’s safe to say that most of us are tired of flinching every time we get a news alert, but until some of these ongoing social and political issues are resolved, they deserve our full attention.

For example, the crisis at the border — which has only intensified since we last heard of the phantom caravan that seemed to dissolve into the ether after the midterm elections.

The migrants and refugees trying to enter the US have been mischaracterized in a very negative light by *certain* media channels, and it’s important to clarify that (as usual) this erases the very real struggles of marginalized groups. Many women seeking asylum don’t have access to the resources they need in order to direct their energy toward what’s most important: personal safety, caring for loved ones, and navigating the transition into the next chapter in their lives. As of right now, there are an estimated 231,000 women of child-bearing age in El Paso without basic sanitation and supplies. That number is only likely to grow, and it’s our responsibility to take action.

Our Giveback Director, Laura, says it best: “If our government isn’t willing to help women at the border, we feel there is a moral obligation to step in and fill that void, especially when it comes to basic necessities like menstrual products.” That’s why we partnered with the Alliance of Border Collaboratives (ABC) to donate over 5,000 pairs of our undies (both THINX and Icon) to refugees and immigrants in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.

meet the people stepping up

ABC is an incredible non-profit doing hands-on work every day to serve women and other marginalized populations at the Southern border. They’re tackling everything from public health issues to social services, and it’s all being led by ABC’s Executive Director, Dr. Rebecca Ramos.

Born and raised in a border community, and a self-described “Borderlander,” Dr. Ramos is passionate about advocating for the people on both sides of the border. “Given my personal history, seeing the harsh conditions that so many vulnerable populations, including women and children, are forced to endure is incredibly painful. As we speak, there are hundreds of families being kept in detention simply because they sought a better life.”  

The realities of what’s going on in this country can feel overwhelming, but know that channeling your discontent into support for communities that need it the most is how we can all truly make a difference.

what can *you* do?

Taking steps towards a positive change requires committing to making it fit into your lifestyle, but we should also acknowledge that this can look different for *every body*.

Here are some ideas to get you started: Donate time or money. Try organizing a toiletry drive or a period kit packing party in your community — you can donate the items you collect to organizations like Border Angels, The Sanctuary Caravan, and Save the Children. Last but definitely not least, call your representatives and demand that they are advocating for migrants and refugees whose voices aren’t being heard.

How do you step up for the causes you are passionate about? Share with us in the comments!

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