The debate about what to do with tens of thousands of Central and South American children who have defected to America and are hoping to receive asylum as refugees continues to rage in Congress, the media, and across our social and cultural lives.
While partisans and interest groups on both sides of the political aisle have chosen sides and drawn lines in the sand, Ronn Torossian says a charity group in Cincinnati, Ohio has offered to provide housing for the children at the center of a divisive immigration debate in America
Recently, Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio filed paperwork for a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in order to house those children. It would be a massive undertaking. Nearly 60,000 children have streamed across the border, mostly from poverty stricken nations such as Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
The charity has released a statement affirming that, if granted, the children would be housed in dormitory style buildings, and would be provided with short-term shelter, education, and counseling.
While federal law requires children be placed in protective care while their immigration cases are brought to a resolution, that may actually work against the charity’s favor. “Protective care” could be interpreted in many different ways, and it may be determined that the facilities being offered by Catholic Charities do not meet federal standards.
But, whether or not the request is granted, the offer itself is a slam-dunk charity PR move for the organization. In one missive, the organization has defined, easily and concretely, exactly what they are all about. They are saying, in effect, “We Help Children and We Meet Immediate Needs.”
In an increasingly crowded and confusing charity PR marketplace, that sort of clarity of mission is vital to achieving the best possible results for any non-profit organization. Achieving increased status may not have anything to do with the group’s request, but it will achieve this result regardless, simply because it has gotten the first rule of PR right – communicate clearly and effectively.