Ibiza Kidz owner Carole Husiak with Council Member Keith Powers by some of the donated items (Photo courtesy of Keith Powers)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Motivated by recent news stories of children getting separated from their parents at the country’s southern border, local moms have collected more than a hundred donations in the last month for the children who have been displaced in New York.
Stuyvesant Town residents Rebekah Rosler and Emily Anderson, who started a company called MomMeetUps earlier this year for expectant and new mothers, reached out to their network when the story broke at the end of June and directed residents to drop off items at local shop Ibiza Kidz, where owner Carole Husiak, herself a Stuy Town resident, has also been soliciting donations from charitable people in the neighborhood through a Stuyvesant Town moms Facebook group.
“It was a community effort and because I’m a central neighborhood shop, it was a good place to bring things,” Husiak said. “That’s how it evolved. Everyone kind of jumped on it because we’re incensed by all this.”
Husiak has previously worked with civic-minded neighborhood residents, helping a local non-profit organization collect items for Syrian refugees last April. Husiak told Town & Village at the time that the organization was having trouble finding space for the donations so she volunteered her store as a drop-off site.
Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation, parent organization to Bellevue and other public hospitals, wrote the following letter on Thursday, following a press briefing.
Over the last few days, I have received messages from distraught physicians, social workers, and other health care providers in our health system who are understandably horrified by the unjust treatment of immigrants across our county. They are seeing first-hand the serious health impact to children of immigrants who have been torn apart from their families — and not at our border, but here in New York.
After separation, some of these children have ended up in our Emergency Departments accompanied by their government-appointed guardians who are often unfamiliar with the children, have no access to medical records, and have no way of getting in touch with a family member to get a medical history.
We have seen children as young as five and have treated teenagers who have presented with signs of anxiety, trauma and stress-related illness, including one extreme case of a teen with suicidal ideations after being separated from his mother.