The Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition received 10 pallets of leggings from California-based clothing company LuLaRoe recently. The company sent the coalition leggings in three sizes for women and girls.
Coalition president Shon Young said the organization’s secretary and officer Tiffany Zook had been contacting companies, in search of an alternative to pants for the asylum seekers.
“Tiffany was reaching out to people and somehow she got in touch with somebody within the organization and they told her, ‘How many leggings do you want? Do you want 25,000 because we will give you 25,000,” Young said.
LuLaRoe asked the coalition to pay $3,000 to have the leggings packaged and shipped to us, but they did not have the money at the time, he said.
According to Young, coalition officers reached out to the different organizations they work for, in hopes of finding someone to help pick up the items from California and transport them to Del Rio.
“During that time, we were still looking for someone to help transport the leggings when we got a call from the company and they told us the leggings were being shipped to us free of charge,” Young said.
According to Young, LuLaRoe organized the shipment and storage of the leggings. Ray Barragan from Estes Express Freight Lines helped the coalition figure out the logistics of how to handle a large volume of goods.
Coalition officers and Samaritan’s Purse volunteers were unable to count the exact number of leggings received, but Young confirmed it was not 25,000. Young added the leggings are more convenient to organize and help determine sizing for the processed asylum seekers a lot quicker.
“When you’re working in the clothing closet, it’s so hard to peg a size and on leggings it’s easy. You can look at someone and say, ‘Oh, you’re this, this and this,’” Young said.
Leggings are lightweight and easier to store at the Chihuahua Neighborhood Facility Center. The clothing item is popular amongst processed female asylum seekers.
The coalition is sharing their donation with other cities. “Through that (donation) we are sending a pallet to Eagle Pass and a pallet to Laredo, to help out with what’s going on over there,” Young said.
U.S. Border Patrol announced they would begin releasing asylum seeking family units into the city of Del Rio beginning after March 27, due to detention centers being over capacity. The coalition came to fruition after the announcement and helps released asylum seekers obtain same day transportation out of Del Rio.
The coalition is made up of volunteers and has received helped from people around the country, including television celebrity Dmitri “Misha” Collins, known for his role as Castiel in the show “Supernatural,” and internationally known blogger Jill Krause, formerly known as “BabyRabies.”