Northwest Pediatricians Help Border Refugees & How You Can Help in Washington

Susanna Block, MD, MPH, FAAP

I am sharing this article about medical providers from our corner of the world who volunteered at a respite center on the Texas-Mexico border. Hundreds of refugees come through daily and receive care (shelter, medical, food) with the support of volunteers and Catholic Charities.  The need is ongoing, so if you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer this would be something to explore.

Other opportunities:

  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project 35th Anniversary Gala – May 17,2019.  NWIRP does the important work of protecting people from violence, standing up to injustice and keeping families together through legal aid.
  • Refugees Northwest Asylum Exam Training – April 27, 2019. There is a great need for medical providers to perform medical and mental health asylum exams. These exams evaluate and document the impact of trauma and persecution on people who are seeking asylum. We also know that people who have asylum exams are more likely to be granted asylum. This training is designed to provide an overview of Northwest Health and Human Rights services, an overview of the asylum process and walk participants through an asylum exam. Contact Refugees Northwest: 206 816 3251.
  • AID NW
    • Volunteer at the Welcome Center in front of the Tacoma Detention Center
    • Volunteer to visit refugees in the Tacoma Detention Center
    • Contact Deborah Cruz or visit to learn more
  • UW UNDOCUMENTED SUMMIT: Supporting Undocumented Students in Washington
    – June 21, 2019
    This all-day summit will highlight the various ways educators can support undocumented students and their communities. Today there are more than 250,000 undocumented individuals residing in Washington, and hundreds of them are students at institutions of higher education. At this summit, participants will learn how to work with and for undocumented individuals. Teachers, counselors and school administrators on all levels are encouraged to attend, along with community leaders and policy makers.
  •  THE DETENTION LOTTERY: An Immersive Courtroom Drama – May 8, 2019
    This U-District Sanctuary Hub at Temple Beth Am is sponsoring “The Detention Lottery,” a deeply moving play set in an immigration detention center and based on the real experiences of Seattle immigration lawyers. Immigration attorneys will play the roles of attorneys, judges, ICE officers and guards, and randomly selected volunteers from the audience will play roles of detainees and their family members. After the performance, there will be a talk-back to answer questions about how the detention process works. Light refreshments will be available at 6:30, and the program will begin at 7:00. There is no charge, but donations will be collected to benefit the​ Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) Fair Fight Bond Fund. RSVPs are required. ​Register at