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JFSA raises $70,000+ for Central American migrants, but cash, goods still needed

Jim and Jill Rich display one of 1,000 backpacks purchased with donated funds. (Photo: Debe Campbell/AJP)

Thanks to community generosity between May 3-June 6, $47,000 has been donated to the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Migrant Relief Services Emergency Fund for Central American asylum seekers transiting Tucson. Combined with an initial anonymous $25,000 matching grant donation, that’s $72,000 to assist with emergency expenses.

Expenditures are managed by a committee comprised of representatives from JFSA, the Jewish Community Relations Council, the office of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, and Catholic Community Services. To date, $20,000 of the fund has been spent on new shoes, backpacks, and undergarments for the migrants housed by the Casa Alitas program, as well as replacing two 50-cup coffee makers, says Jill Rich, JCRC social action chair. The fund balance is held at JFSA to meet needs that arise as migrant arrivals continue.

Monetary donations can still be made online at www.jfsa.org/make-a-donation. (Indicate “Migrant Relief” on your donation.)

In addition, donations of physical items can be dropped off at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. Items being collected include:

• Individually packaged non-perishable snacks: granola bars, apple sauce, nuts, juice boxes/pouches

• Travel-size toiletries

• New flipflops and/or tennis shoes in adult small and medium sizes and all children’s sizes

• New or gently used backpacks and string bags

• New or gently used junior/boys’ size belts (no men’s sizes — 24-30 inches only)

For more details about JFSA’s Migrant Relief Services Emergency Fund, go to www.azjewishpost.com/2019/grant-boosts-local-efforts-to-aid-migrants.

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