Council Member Highlights New Volunteer Opportunities to Help Immigrant Children

Levine in the middle of the pile of donations.

Council Member Mark Levine, who reps a section of the Upper West Side, gathered thousands of pounds of items for children separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s immigration policy. He’s now asking people to stop sending goods, but he has other ways that they can help. See his latest email below:

For weeks we watched with outrage and heartbreak as child refugees were forcibly removed from their parents on the southern border. Then we learned that hundreds of the separated children had been brought to our city. And you leaped into action.

New Yorkers from all five boroughs–and beyond–responded to our call for contributions for the children with awe-inspiring generosity.

Over the past six days thousands of pounds of donated goods arrived at my district office on W.141st Street.  Diapers, clothing, books, cribs, medical supplies, personal hygiene products and much, much more.

Hundreds of tireless volunteers have streamed into our office, helping us collect and sort and transport the donations.  

We have now delivered truck-loads of badly needed goods to four incredible foster care organizations working directly with the children: Cayuga Centers, Abbott House, Rising Grounds, and Children’s Village.

Because of the extraordinary quantities we have already collected we are asking that you no longer send in physical goods to our office. But there is still much more to do.

We are still in need of volunteers to help sort and transport the remaining donations. Sign up for a volunteer shift here.

The foster agencies are all in need of financial contributions, Spanish-speaking foster parents, and a limited number of general volunteers (for security reasons and to protect the safety of the children, the organizations need time to vet foster parents and volunteers, as such, responses may take time). For information on how you can help each individual organization see:

Meanwhile, we must continue our fight against the cruel Trump administration policies which created this crisis in the first place.  I hope you will join me and thousands of other New Yorkers this Saturday, June 30th at 10 a.m. in Foley Square for a rally calling for the immediate reunification of all refugee familiesWe will meet at 9 am on the southbound A train platform at 168th Street to travel together.

History will hold us all accountable for our role in this crisis.  Those who authored this immoral policy will not fare well on that count. But I am confident that New Yorkers will continue to be an example for the nation on what it means to welcome the stranger and embrace the vulnerable.


Council Member Mark Levine

Photos via Levine’s office.

NEWS | 23 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      “We must continue our fight against the Trump Administration policies which created this crisis in the first place”


      Trump might be a moron but maybe millions of people illegally entering our country – who were well aware of the risks of coming here – started this crisis.

      There are hundreds of millions – if not billions – of people around the world living in poverty. Do they all have a right to residency here?

    2. Westsidegirl says:

      What about the local kids? Have we turned our backs on them for illegal migrants? 🙁

      • Zulu says:

        Are the local kids getting separated from their parents with the possibility of never seeing them again, shoved in cages and given foil sheets for warmth?

        • Debbie says:

          Exactly! Some of these comments here are so heartless–just like Trump!

          • gs says:

            Let’s assume local kids are legal residents and contribute to our society, the kids at the border are legal and will be a user of our resources. I don’t want my tax payments funding that…how about you liberals pony up to pay.

      • dannyboy says:


        But we have screwed a lot of children of color with segregationist school zoning and admissions policies.

        Care about that?

    3. Robertr says:

      While I feel for these children on a humanitarian basis, please see below
      I wish someone would remind our elected’s and the local “self appointed” community leaders that…..

      Pls see below. And by the way these laws have been on the books for years, they are not a new Trump policy. He is just enforcing them. And yes as late as the Obama presidency the supreme court upheld them. The HI case on Monday held that “federal supremacy” when it comes to laws of the land

      This is not the first time and/or President to enforce the federal supremacy clause. Think Pres Eisenhower sending Federal Troops into Little Rock to enforce federal law.
      Consider these provisions of Title 8, U.S.C. 1324(a) Offenses:
      Harboring — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.
      Encouraging/Inducing — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.
      Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        Roberts is seriously comparing Trump’s demagogy and cruelty to refugees and asylum seekers to Ike’s sending Federal troops into Little Rock to enforce desegregation?

        Talk about turning trust on its head!!

        • Robert says:

          My comparison of the two issues was to show one of the clearest examples of federal supremacy of federal law. The sanctuary city movement is in direct violation of federal law. As for “cruelty to refugees and asylum seekers”, I find it very odd that people make this claim again and again. Enforcing the laws by trying to identify who these people really are before the are released. We have a current backlog of over 600,000 asylum cases currently. Anyone that claims to be a refugee is granted an asylum hearing and they get to stay in the country until their case is heard and all of their years of appeals are exhausted. That is they even show up for the first appointment. During the past admin people where told to show up for a court date months in the future to have their asylum claim heard and guess what a vast majority never showed up.
          At the time we had and still do have “non partisan” NGO on both sides of the border that are coaching these people to actively seek out border patrol agents and claim they need asylum By doing this they could stay indefinitely. No we have an admin that is actually checking who people are. It stretches credibility that someone could flee country a, walk for months thru countries b, c and d before crossing into the US without any documents, ID etc.
          There are also large amount

    4. Judith M Kass says:

      I’d like to send money to support the work of these great people. How can I do it, please?

      JM Kass

    5. MCVB says:

      I for one am thankful to Levine for his making others his brothers and sisters and suggesting we do the same. The three responses here are unfortunately quite cruel and narrow and above all robotic. Most “local” children have not been violently and suddenly separated from their parents. These parents and children are for the most part not coming here for money (haven’t they read the President’s tax law?); they come from fear for refuge. Bravo for the response of UWSiders full of heart, hope, and a sense of we indeed are our brother’s keepers. Great article, Rag….Thanks

      • gs says:

        This is all nonsense…Trump is enforcing the law! The parents endangered the kids by sneaking into our country because their are cesspools of violence and corruption I’m 100% for LEGAL immigration, which this is not.

    6. Eva Y. says:

      The children had no choice about coming here. Why are some of these comments so antagonistic against them? No administration before this one has separated children from parents.

      I feel this particularly because I was on a Kindertransport, but in my case I was taken from my family to save my life. If you want to create people who hate our country, this move will probably do just that.

    7. Dissident says:


      Definition: Argument involving children to prop up a rationalization and make the opponent look like an a[–]hole, as people are defenseless and suspend all skepticism in front of suffering children: nobody has the heart to question the authenticity or source of the reporting. Often done with the aid of pictures.

      – Nassim Nicholas Taleb,
      Pedophrasty, Bigoteering, and Other Modern Scams
      Clearing the discourse of abuses and abusers

      • Zulu says:

        The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified in 1989, is the most-signed human rights legislation in the world.

        Children have the right…

        To a name & citizenship.

        To know his or her parents.

        To live with his or her parents unless it is not in his or her best interests.

        To maintain contact with both parents if separated from one or both.

        To be reunited with parents when possible.

        To express an opinion, and to have that opinion taken into account.

        To obtain appropriate information.

        To meet with others and to join or set up associations.

        To privacy.

        To access information and material from a diversity of media sources.

        To protection from abuse or neglect.

        If not with family, to appropriate care, taking into account the child’s cultural background.

        If mentally or physically disabled, to special care, education and training.

        To the enjoyment of the highest possible standard of health.

        To an adequate standard of living.

        To education that develops the child’s personality and talents.

        To enjoy their own culture, to practice their own religion and to use their own language.

        To rest and to engage in leisure, play and recreational activities.

        To participate in cultural and artistic activities.

        To be protected from child labor.

        To be protected from illicit drugs.

        To be protected from sexual exploitation or abuse.

        To be protected from trafficking.

        To protection from all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to their welfare.

        To be protected from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

        To not be made a soldier.

        To be protected from armed conflict.

        To be protected from pornography.

        To rehabilitation if a victim of violation of the rights.

        To have a due process of law.

    8. Brie Hoffman says:

      Obama started this not Trump