Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley (CCRGV) helps people, with special concern for those who are poor and vulnerable, like the many people currently crossing the Mexican border and seeking asylum in the Untied States. Helping, caring, loving: This is the mission. The staff and volunteers of CCRGV make every effort to live by the words of Jesus: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least sisters or brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).
Recently, a contrived video placed on the internet sought to smear the good works and reputation of CCRGV. The video charged the agency of participating in smuggling and trafficking of human persons. The charge is false, which the popular and trusted fact-checking website Snopes reported soon after the illicit video appeared on the web.
Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of CCRGV, also responded immediately: “I want to express my deep concern and disappointment regarding this attempt to sensationalize the work of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and so many in the city of McAllen who have consistently worked together to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable.”Click to tweet
What the video showed – despite its false narrative – was a volunteer attempting to transport three mothers and their children to a COVID-19 testing site. The families had just come from the Humanitarian Respite Center (seen in the background), which CCRGV manages with the help of the Sacred Heart Church, the city of McAllen, and many volunteers. The volunteer was doing an act of charity.
Charity, in fact, is the main work of the respite center. It provides for the men, women, children, and infants who have entered the country to have a place to rest, have a warm meal, a shower, as well as receive other basic services, before they continue on their journey.
Sister Pimentel urged people to visit the U.S. Mexico border and the Humanitarian Respite Center, and to volunteer, in order to learn about the wonderful work being done for those in need. Sister Pimentel’s full statement can be read here.