I'm Bobby Harris and I'm running the NYC Marathon for International Social Service, USA.
No matter what side you are on regarding the politics, the human cost of family separation at the US border is undeniable. As of October 2018, 2,656 children were were forcibly removed from their families and put in dentention. Approximately half of those children were under the age of ten. As a nurse practitioner, I have become most concerned with the overwhelming evidence associated with how prolonged separation can negatively affect a child's brain developemnt. This has the potential to cause long term health issues including a higher risk of developing mental health disorders like anxiety, and depression, conditions that may not improve even with reunification and can persist into adulthood.
I am running to support ISS-USA to continue to provide services to children and their families who, after traumatic and extended separations, are reuniting in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Helping these families access services from basic medical care to education, mental health support and job training programs requires coordination, dedication, compassion and grit. It also requires funding! I'm running to raise funds so more families can be reached through this program.
Here are some of the ways ISS-USA can use the funds raised by the marathon team:
· $120 a month provides social work case management support for the family of a child returning after a border separation.
-$75 will ensure workers can safely reach remote villages to visit families each month
· $50 allows a parent to access literacy classes, specialized educational services or vocational training for a year.
· $40 allows specialized educational services for a child for a month.
· $25 will buy a child new shoes and a school uniform.
· $10 will buy a child a backpack and school supplies.
For more information about ISS-USA, visit www.iss-usa.org.