As of Monday, a nationwide effort of pro-life groups to bring relief and supplies to the border crisis has brought in almost $50,000 in supplies and monetary donations in under a week, representatives from two groups leading the effort told Blaze Media. The goal is to get as many supplies for women and babies to the border as they can provide.
The effort is called "Bottles to the Border" and is the result of collaboration between pro-life New Wave Feminists and And Then There Were None, the pro-life ministry for former abortion workers founded by former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson.
Pamela Whitehead, the program director of the Texas-based ATTWN, told Blaze Media in a phone interview that as of Monday, the effort has raised over $30,000 in donations and over $17,500 worth of materials, meaning that the campaign has raised a total amount of $47,500 in just its first six days.
The campaign is being spearheaded by NWF founder Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa and launched last Tuesday.
Ultimately, Herndon-De La Rosa says, this issue "goes well beyond politics." She calls it "a people issue" and points out that pro-lifers' concern for human life should extend to vulnerable populations like those at the border, those being trafficked, and others.
"It's not something where you can just say 'I only care about these people,'" she concluded. "No, we are a movement that's built on caring about the human dignity of all human beings."
This isn't Herndon-De La Rosa's first time providing humanitarian aid, nor her first time teaming up with ATTWN to do it. The two organizations also worked together to provide feminine hygiene products to shelters around the Houston area in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, because those items were left out of most donations, she says.
"I became known as the tampon lady at Costco," Herndon-De La Rosa remembers with a laugh. "It was ridiculous."
After that, Herndon-De La Rosa says that her organization's first foray into helping out the situation at the border started in December when NWF raised around $9,000 to help out the Respite Center in McAllen, Texas.
But she said after seeing the kind of situation created by America's ongoing crisis, she actually went through some "burnout" when she got back.
"Here I felt like we did so much," she told Blaze Media over the phone, "but these supplies will be gone in a week because there's just so much need down there."
This time, however, Herndon-De La Rosa says she's approaching this with far more support. A report at Catholic News Agency said that as of last week, over 40 different pro-life groups had signed on to the effort. This week, Herndon-De La Rosa says that number is up to 50.
And though it's not the typical effort that pro-life groups tend to pursue, it's all part of living out a pro-life worldview, Whitehead explains.
"If I lived in a world where abortion was unthinkable but hunger, homelessness, and hopelessness all increased, would I have accomplished my pro-life mission?" Whitehead asked. "If I really want to care about people, then I have to live that out."
"I don't think there's any talking point that's going to prove that to anyone," Whitehead said, adding that she believes that actions like these are the best way to change people's minds.
For the next two weeks, interested donors can still provide monetary assistance to the campaign, which ends on July 13. Whitehead says that monetary donations are far more helpful than sending things to the border.
"If you send stuff to the center, it creates work," Whitehead explained during the interview. "The last thing I wanted to see was this respite center get a lot of work" like sorting through donated materials.
Those interested in donating to the campaign can go to NWF's website, where all donations between now and July 13 will be put toward the Bottles to the Border campaign.
"I encourage us as a movement to not just be against abortion. Let's be a movement that is FOR more than we are against," Johnson said in a Facebook post last week. "Let's be a movement that reaches out to those who need our physical and emotional assistance…whether those people are walking into an abortion clinic, at the border, or are homeless."