On Tuesday March 6th, KIND hosted “A Toast to KINDness” in Seattle, WA. Thanks to the enthusiasm and generosity of those who attended, KIND raised over $60,000 for our Seattle office and its work with unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children.
KIND’s President Wendy Young spoke at the event saying, “When KIND was founded almost ten years ago, it began with a singular mission: that no child should face immigration court alone. In 2009, KIND served roughly 800 children; we could never have predicted that, ten years later, more than 300,000 unaccompanied minors would arrive in the U.S., fleeing gang violence and trauma in their home countries. Nor could we have predicted that we would have served over 15,500 children – even as we watched the unmet need for legal representation grow. We could not have foreseen the challenges that these children would face here in the U.S.; the climate of hostility, increased enforcement, and the very deliberate targeting of young children, who are being labeled by policymakers as threats to our national, border, and community security.
But when we interact with the communities we serve—communities like Seattle—what we witness over and over again is that this stirring up of “us against them” isn’t working. That’s because people like you see the truth—the kids we serve have been driven from their homes, villages, and countries by violence that makes remaining home impossible. That the kids we serve turn to us with hope in their hearts because they have heard that the U.S. stands up for the rights of children and offers a future in which they can learn, play, thrive, and be safe from harm. KIND—in partnership with all of you—can help them achieve those dreams and restore the happy, healthy childhood that they deserve.”
KIND Board member Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of Enrique’s Journey, also spoke at the event. Along with Antonio, a former KIND client from Seattle. Children like Antonio flee their home countries every day to escape violence and persecution. With KIND’s help, they are able to fight for a better life.
“When I was living in El Salvador, I never dreamed of ever having the opportunity to study at college…Because of KIND’s legal support, I was able to complete high school.” -Antonio, former KIND client