Local church collecting donations for hundreds of refugees
March 12, 2019 06:31 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With hours notice, dozens of buses pulled into Albuquerque carrying nearly 300 refugees. They needed a place to stay.
A nonprofit that houses asylum seekers in El Paso, Annunciation House, was full. Albuquerque was their next option.
“You kind of panic at those things like oh my goodness how do we do this,” Father Vincent Chavez of St. Therese Parish said.
Annunciation House paid for the migrants to stay in hotels in Southeast Albuquerque while they are processed to travel around the country to stay with family and friends.
“They’re stressed and you ask them how many days have you been on the road? It’s like 20 and this and that and they’re tired and sick,” Chavez said.
Father Chavez said the migrants are from Central America, specifically Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. About half of them are children. Many of them are fleeing violence or looking for work.
“We’re just here packing up clothes and bringing in boxes and stuff from people who have been donating things,” volunteer Nyata Shannon said.
The refugees will only stay in Albuquerque for a couple of days, but they’ll leave with stories about the heart of the people here.
Father Chavez said he and other church leaders and ministries got the word out and hundreds of people have asked how they can help. Donations are pouring in to St. Therese Parish.
"It’s just overwhelming in terms of people’s love and care for others,” he said.
While everything is new and overwhelming for the refugee families, volunteers said they just want them to know they’re not alone.
If anyone wants to help, St. Therese Parish will be taking donations of toothbrushes, socks, underwear, snacks, and toiletries from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The donations can be dropped off at St. Therese Parish Hall at 212 Mildred Northwest. They’ll be taking money donations as well.
Updated: March 12, 2019 06:31 PM
Created: March 12, 2019 05:53 PM
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