Donated toys give kids of undocumented immigrants hope while separated from parents on Christmas

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SCOTT COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Christmas is less than 48 hours away and since August children of the undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE agents believed they wouldn’t experience one this year.

This won’t be the case now thanks to an out of state immigration rights group who drove from Texas to deliver donated toys to impacted families.

The whole toy drive was led by the Border Crit Institute which is a non-profit aimed at educating and informing the public on civil and human rights for undocumented families in border areas. Today they brought back some much needed holiday cheer.

Starting at 3:00 P.M. volunteer Dalila Reynoso and her family drove door to door through Morton unloading piles of gifts for children living in fear of deportation.

“We need to remember during the Christmas time is usually when families are together,” Reynoso told us. “And unfortunately for these children that is not what’s going to happen this Christmas.”

In Scott County those lucky enough to be released on bond have still been out of work from the Morton Koch Foods plant for almost five whole months making Christmas affordable.

“We didn’t know how we were going to be able to buy Christmas gifts for our children,” Magdelena Pedero of Guatemala said. “Because currently I’m still not working after I got out of the detention center. I’m very thankful for all the individuals who donated to my daughters.”

Over a four day period the Texas branch of the Border Crit Institute received enough toys to fill 12 large bags. All donated by strangers.

“It’s been hard these last few months,” Jordan Jimenez of Forest said. “But today’s kind of made me cheerful and happy, and smiling.”

“I didn’t think I was going to get a Christmas present today,” Kevin Lopez explained. “This means a lot for me.”

For families like Miguel Chox the help is a big boost in holiday cheer after Miguel learned his wife got denied bond and was deported to Guatemala on Sunday.

“This has been very difficult time for me,” Chox said. “And all we wanted to was provide for our family and give them a better future, but it’s not looking promising for us.

Since his wife’s arrest Miguel has been left to care for all three of his kids alone including their now seven month old daughter Jacklyn who was still being breastfed when her mother was arrested four months ago.

“There isn’t really much toys to be given because with my wife away and without the income we’re unable to buy toys for the children,” Chox continued. “And it is a very difficult time.”

The Tirnity Missionary Center is also asking for more donated food and grocery supplies to hand out to families to keep their kids fed. You can do this by mailing items to 430 Hillsboro St. Forest, MS 39074.

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