31.8 F
Bourbonnais
Saturday, December 5, 2020

Former Detainee works with NIJC, ICDI to bring children brighter holiday in Chicago area

BOURBONNAIS – To say this year hasn’t been stressful would be the understatement of a lifetime. But could you even begin to imagine going through it as a child?  

How about as a kid without your mother or father? Those are exactly the sort of traumatizing stress increments put on children of detainees across the United States, including those detained an hour south of Chicago in Kankakee County.

Last year, Johannes Favi experienced the 2019 holiday season as a detainee himself in Kankakee. That’s when the now father of three missed out not only on the holiday season but the birth of his third-born child.

Favi was released from the Kankakee facility in April during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic after winning a federal court case ordering his release from ICE custody. An at-risk individual himself, reflected earlier this week on his detainment last season and how he plans to aid organizations helping detainees in Kankakee this holiday.

“The fact that my wife had to provide for the whole family was putting a lot of stress on me,” Favi said Thursday of last year’s events. “Based on my personal experience, I was very, very disturbed knowing that my kids will not be having jackets for wintertime and toys because I was in detention.”

All that changed when Favi learned last December the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) had arranged donations for detainees’ families, who lived in the surrounding area.

“It was a very, very big relief to know that people thought about them and went all the way to Indiana to give them gift cards, toys, jackets, and boots. This is why today I’m trying to return the blessing, you know by organizing something that would be helping all the folks.” He explained Thursday morning. This holiday season, Favi is returning the good grace by working with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants (ICDI) and Connect Kankakee to give children of immigrants something to smile about.

“NIJC and ICDI are helping us target those people in our community. The ones that have kids that are willing to participate in the program will be signing up on a sheet. So once the fundraiser is done, we will portion the gift cards and ship them to the families of the detainees.” Favi told me, laying out the plans for distribution of this year’s items. He explained donations are not the only way to support the program. “Donate whatever you can, or share with your family or friends so they can help us.”

While this year’s program is eager to spread good grace, not disease, physical items delivered in the past will instead be substituted with gift cards in the mail. “Because of the pandemic, we’re trying not to put any family at risk. It would be better for everyone that we just ship out gift cards, so they can purchase whatever gifts they want for their kids.” Favi elucidate.  

Saturday morning, the group was nearly halfway to their $3,400 goal, so far raising over $1,500.

For a man who had no connections with the Kankakee area before his detainment, his devotion to his fellow man keeps him actively involved in the community. With the holidays upon us, Favi does have a word of advice for detainees who are looking for hope.

“Hang on tight,” Favi stressed to detainees now residing in the Jerome Combs Detention Center. “Right now we are trying to work with Connect and NIJC helping them, providing them with mental health support once they get released into the community. They just need to hang on tight, don’t give up.” Favi stressed. “I know it’s very very hard to be in Kankakee. Not being able to see the sun, living in cells without water. Just hang on tight. We’re here, we love you, and we’re working very hard so you get the best when you get back out into the community.”

Last year, the US Government detained over half a million people, spread out across over 200 jails run by ICE. Kankakee’s Jerome Combs Detention Center can hold over 200 detainees at any given time. Kankakee County earns on average $90 per day, per detainee. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Kankakee appropriates over 10 million annually for the “Out of County-Rental” agreements with ICE.

To donate to this year’s holiday program for families separated this holiday, visit the GoFundMe. To read more about Favi’s experience in Kankakee, visit the National Immigrant Justice Center. 

Shane Saathoff
Shane Saathoffhttp://www.SocialSnowball.com
An active writer for two decades, Shane's focuses on local news and events throughout the area, Shane is an active historian, science nerd, and tech geek. Shane is a native of Bourbonnais, IL, and alumni of Olivet Nazarene University.

Top stories

With potential vaccine approval looming, Pritzker warns of long distribution process

By JERRY NOWICKICapitol News Illinoisjnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Health officials gave an update on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine plan Friday with potential federal approval anticipated as...

Bourbonnais man killed in shooting, 8-year-old hurt

BOURBONNAIS - A Bourbonnais man is dead after he was shot while in his parked car in the 1300 block of West Station Street...

Group wants Pritzker to include mink farms in COVID-19 mitigation strategy

(The Center Square) – A coalition of animal welfare groups is urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to include mink farms in his COVID-19 mitigation strategy,...

Bradley Citizens United ask residents to stand ‘Bradley Strong’ in April 2021

BRADLEY – A new political party has emerged to challenge the current village Administration in Bradley this April. During an online press conference last...

Jupiter, Saturn to combine for “Christmas Star” for first time in nearly 800 years

CHICAGO - For the first time in 800 years on December 21st, people across the globe will witness one of the rarest celestial events...

Log Schoolhouse Restoration Project in Bourbonnais reaches 60% of goal

BOURBONNAIS – Efforts to restore the Bourbonnais Grove Historical Society’s 1837 Log Schoolhouse Restoration Project have eclipsed 60% of the overall goal of $120,000...

AMITA Health Provides Free Assistance for Healthcare Insurance Enrollment

CHICAGO – The COVID-19 pandemic has left many in Chicagoland without the health insurance they need, when they need it most. AMITA Health has partnered...

Drive thru COVID-19 testing will be held at the Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center

KANKAKEE - Drive thru COVID-19 testing will be held at the Duane Dean Behavioral Health Center in partnership with NTL Laboratory every Saturday and...

KC-CASA Camp teaches kids to communicate boundaries, tools to be assertive

KANKAKEE – A camp launching later this month by KC-CASA will show children how to communicate boundaries among other things. KC-CASA’s Confident Kids Camp will...

High court: Pleading guilty does not prevent innocence claims

By SARAH MANSURCapitol News Illinoissmansur@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD — People who plead guilty to crimes are not automatically precluded from later asserting claims of innocence, the state’s...

Support independent journalism today

Bourbonnais man killed in shooting, 8-year-old hurt

BOURBONNAIS - A Bourbonnais man is dead after he was shot while in his parked car in the 1300 block of West Station Street...

Group wants Pritzker to include mink farms in COVID-19 mitigation strategy

(The Center Square) – A coalition of animal welfare groups is urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to include mink farms in his COVID-19 mitigation strategy,...

Bradley Citizens United ask residents to stand ‘Bradley Strong’ in April 2021

BRADLEY – A new political party has emerged to challenge the current village Administration in Bradley this April. During an online press conference last...

Related news

With potential vaccine approval looming, Pritzker warns of long distribution process

By JERRY NOWICKICapitol News Illinoisjnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Health officials gave an update on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine plan Friday with potential federal approval anticipated as...

Bourbonnais man killed in shooting, 8-year-old hurt

BOURBONNAIS - A Bourbonnais man is dead after he was shot while in his parked car in the 1300 block of West Station Street...

Group wants Pritzker to include mink farms in COVID-19 mitigation strategy

(The Center Square) – A coalition of animal welfare groups is urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to include mink farms in his COVID-19 mitigation strategy,...

Bradley Citizens United ask residents to stand ‘Bradley Strong’ in April 2021

BRADLEY – A new political party has emerged to challenge the current village Administration in Bradley this April. During an online press conference last...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.