I have been participating in some Facebook discussions about the possibility of unaccompanied minor child detainees coming to the Joint Base Cape Cod. I found that there is a large division among the people. There is a group that does not want them here under any circumstances. They cite the incidents of disease, and the large number of the detainees who are males 15 years old and older. They also express concerns about possible gang members among the detainees.
Then there are people who say we should help and accept detainees, no questions asked. They mainly focus on the children in need. With this group I decided to send along a website GoFundMe, in a private message. I contacted the most vocal people who were in favor of using the base to house detainees eight days ago.
The GoFundMe page I sent is one my wife started to request assistance for a group of eight people from Cape Cod heading to an orphanage in Guatemala in September after a year of planning and fundraising. The orphanage is called Shadow of His Wings and it is home to girls who have escaped physical and sexual abuse. They live with host families at the orphanage. There is also a convalescent home in the village. The group from Cape Cod will include my wife and 15-year-old son. They will be finishing an aquaponics project that will help to provide fish and crops for the people who live there. Shadow of His Wings Orphanage can be seen also on Facebook.
Back to the result of the messages I sent. It was very simple: “Here is a group that is helping needy children that are not fleeing to America. Any donation or sharing of the website is appreciated.”
I contacted 24 people via private message on Facebook. From that, one very kind lady donated what she could. Two people gave positive thanks but no thanks. I also received a message that read, “These children did not choose to come here either. They were sent & have endured much suffering. I am glad you choose to help suffering children in your way, but we should not discriminate if that’s what you are trying to do with this PM.” I was going to respond and explain that this person misinterpreted my intent. I was looking for donations to help the orphans and the families they live with, as the Cape Cod group still needs to raise $6,000 in order to head to the orphanage. Unfortunately this person blocked me, not only from replying, but from ever seeing them on Facebook again.
What was most telling is the lack of any response from a small group of people who in the discussions demand that the base be open to detainees. I guess they are willing to spare no expense as long as it does not come out of their pockets. I see the same demands in many of the letters to your newspaper. I wonder if your readers are more willing to help those who are not fleeing as strongly as they support those that have. Anyone who would like to help, please go to www.gofundme.com/903z5k. There is no donation that is too small; every dollar helps.
Lawrence E. O’Brien