After watching a documentary about the thousands of child refugees at the Nogales, Arizona border who were fleeing to escape violence and drug gangs, a 17-year-old from the wealthy community of Belmont, near San Francisco, decided to do something.

Julia Tognotti collected donations of clothes and personal hygiene items and begged her father to bring her and two friends to the border town to see how they could help.

She didn’t want to assist anyone in breaking laws or gaining illegal entry into the United States, she told the San Mateo Daily Journal. She just wanted to help those children in need who are suffering with nothing. Once she met them, she was shocked at how young they were.

Her caring attitude turned into a full-fledged charity project with local neighbors in San Mateo and Belmont donating thousands of items to the cause.

Throughout the summer she has shipped boxes of clothing, undergarments, and tooth paste to the Kino Border Initiative, which distributes donations through their shelter.

“Those who I met, and handed out donations to, were so gracious and appreciative to have shoes, jeans, t-shirts and toiletries,” said Julia, on her Facebook Page, Julia’s Journey for Others. “Many had worn through their shoes and to have an almost new pair made them smile.”

To find out how to help, visit Julia’s Journey for Others Facebook Page.

(READ the story in the San Mateo Daily Journal) – Story Tip from MIke McGinley