Metro

Salem kids write heartfelt letters to immigrant children separated at border

Salem officials are asking children in the community to write notes to kids who have been separated from their parents at the border.
City of Salem
Salem officials are asking children in the community to write notes to kids who have been separated from their parents at the border.

The letters from the children vary, but they send a very similar message of hope and compassion.

“You guys are struggling and what your going through is awful and no one should have to go through exectpailly children I hope everything works out well,” one reads.

Another says, “Keep your head up. You are not alone. People are working on returning you to your family.”

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The notes were among a cluster of letters that the City of Salem has received as a part of a program inviting kids in the community to write to immigrant children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

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Mayor Kimberley Driscoll asked for the letters of “friendship, encouragement, and kindness,” so they can be shipped to children who were recently split up as part of President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.

While Trump bent to pressure last week and signed an executive order undoing his own administration’s policy, many children have not been reunited with their families. Salem, it seems, saw this as an opportunity to bring hope to those who remain in custody.

“We are looking to send some love from Salem to kids at the border. Ideally, we’d love these letters to be in Spanish+come from other kids,” Driscoll said on Twitter early Wednesday morning. “Please keep your notes positive + do not seal the envelope. Think about how a letter helps to brighten someone else’s day and start writing!”

By late afternoon Wednesday, Driscoll said in an update that the “First batch of notes has arrived,” and the city received “some pretty heartfelt messages from our kids to their childhood peers at the border.”

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City officials said it was not clear yet exactly where the letters would be shipped but said they would soon have details on specific destinations. Dominick Pangallo, Driscoll’s chief of staff, said in a tweet shared by Driscoll that if people still want to contribute, and “add to the growing collection of letters and cards,” they should drop notes off at the mayor’s office by noon Friday. Already, they are “up to around 40” cards, he said.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.