While I cover and deeply love the sport of soccer, I can admit there are things much more important than the beautiful game. In recent months, chances are you have come across numerous news stories shining a light on families being separated at the US border. While avoiding making this article political, an act was made after public pressure to halt the process of splitting families apart due to immigration issues. But, there are no plans to reunite the families that are already separated. That is where RGVFC and Reunite FC come into play.
Led by goalkeeper Nico Corti, the Toros’ players wanted to make a difference. With their home stadium only 17 miles from the Mexican border, they felt compelled to create Reunite FC. It’s a fundraising campaign to help The Texas Civil Rights Project bring together separated families and assist in their underlying immigration issues.
“I’d been following the news about this issue and checked Twitter one day and McAllen was trending because hundreds of children are being detained in a Border Patrol processing center right here in McAllen,” the rookie goalkeeper explains. “The detention center is literally minutes away from where we all live, so it really hit home. I kept thinking about what I could do to help and it turns out some of my teammates were doing the same thing, so we came together and started Reunite FC with the TCRP.”
We can’t just stand by and let something like this go on without trying to help, especially in our own city.
While Corti was the leader in creating Reunite FC, the club’s leader on the pitch is a massive supporter as well. Captain Todd Wharton said he thinks the idea is awesome. “I wanted to do something to help out and when Nico came to me with this idea, I jumped on it immediately,” says Wharton. “We can’t just stand by and let something like this go on without trying to help, especially in our own city. Hopefully, clubs around the USL will join in with us as well.”
Jesus “Chuy” Enriquez has spent time playing in Mexico and this issue hits too close to home for the winger. “I lived right next to the border and I would see this often. It was sad and I didn’t like it at all. Now, it’s happening in McAllen, where I currently live. It just saddens me that little babies are separated from their families,” reflects Enriquez. “Every time I see or hear about it again, it reminds me of my nephews and nieces. They’re so young and I would hate to see them separated from my brothers and sisters.”
“I know what we’re trying to do with Reunite FC isn’t going to change government laws, but I know it can help the kids in need financially.”
Players are making pledges, for their own play and on the World Cup, to help spark donations. You can check out their pledges on the official Twitter account, @ReuniteFC. Thankfully, the donations and pledges are not limited to professional soccer players. You are encouraged to donate and make pledges of your own! The link to donate is found HERE. You can make your pledges on Twitter, whether it’s for the Toros, the World Cup, or anything else. If you’d rather just donate, don’t hesitate! This is such an important cause and if you can give any money or simply spread the word, you could help families going through a nightmare right now.