LENEXA, Kan. -- A local humanitarian group known best for its disaster relief is helping out in what it calls a crisis of a different kind at the U.S. border.
With thousands of migrants seeking asylum, Heart to Heart International is trying to make sure they have their basic hygiene needs met.
While conditions at detention facilities along the border have garnered a lot of attention lately, nearby border cities are being inundated with people waiting on asylum hearings.
Kim Carroll, Heart to Heart International CEO, said 85,000 asylum seekers were processed in May, compared to about 9,500 in May 2018. They end up mostly living in communal areas.
“Right now there are people in Texas and New Mexico and a number of other communities that have processed through the system that have been given the opportunity to pursue asylum. They are living in condensed situations without anything other than what they carried on their back. They need access to good hygiene," Carroll said.
On Monday, Heart to Heart International shipped 23 pallets of supplies to those border communities.
That included 4,500 hygiene kits filled with items like soap, body wash, toothpaste and a toothbrush. Bulk containers with 500 blankets and cleaning supplies for the communal areas were also shipped.
Heart to Heart International will work with Catholic Charities and Save the Children to distribute those supplies next week.