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Catholic Charities of West Tennessee and volunteers travel to help at Texas Refugee Respite Center

Catholic Charities of West Tennessee (CCWTN) is leading a delegation of Catholic Charities staff, community leaders and Catholic high school students to support the staff of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley (CCRGV) in its Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, which provides assistance to refugees who have crossed the border and have been processed by U.S. officials.

CCWTN is making this trip at the request of Catholic Charities USA and with the approval of our Bishop, His Excellency, the most Rev. Martin E. Holley, D.D. Catholic Charities staff will be serving in customer intake, volunteer services, media, logistics and donation processing. Students will be serving food and distributing clothing. This is a diocesan project in cooperation with CCWTN; the Memphis group arrived in Texas July 3 and 4 and will be returning July 11.


The Humanitarian Respite Center was started by CCRGV due to the influx of refugees crossing the border who didn’t have an adequate place to rest. The center provides a place for the countless men, women, children and infant refugees to rest, have a warm meal, a shower, and change into clean clothing as well as receive medicine and other supplies, before continuing onto their journey. It is a first stop for refugees who, after being released by U.S. authorities, are fortunate enough to have a place to go. Approximately 300 people are served at the respite center daily.


“We are reaching out to our brothers and sisters in need as part of the body of Christ,” Dick Hackett said. “Welcoming the stranger is not just what we do as Catholics. It is who we are.”


The Memphis delegation includes Catholic Charities Executive Director Dick Hackett and his wife, Kathy, as well as Catholic Charities COO, Bill Brickhill, and Marie Gracia Boldrin, legal assistant in CCWTN’s Immigration Services program. Bill and Rene Platten, parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, are also traveling to assist with the effort.

Students on the trip represent the following schools: St. Agnes Academy, Christian Brothers High School, St. Benedict at Auburndale High School and Immaculate Conception Cathedral School.

For more information about this trip, please reach out to Hackett directly at (901) 265-0121. More information about CCRGV is available at that agency’s web site,

About Catholic Charities of West Tennessee

Catholic Charities of West Tennessee is the social services arm of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis. It is one of the largest nonprofit, multi-social service providers in the Mid-South with special emphasis in the areas of homelessness, children’s programming, immigration services, veteran’s services and emergency services. For more information please visit the agency web site at and visit us on Facebook.

Nov 16, 2018

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