Volunteers fill backpacks of supplies for migrant families
July 24, 2018 06:30 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – With every zip, another backpack is filled with supplies and ready to be on the shoulders of someone separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Welcome a stranger in your own land, because you may be one someday too," Dan Regan said. "I figured I'd bring some stuff so folks had an easier path."
A path back to their loved ones with a little help from the New Mexico community.
Charity groups started spreading the world over the weekend about 300 immigrants who are supposed to leave the Immigration and Customs Enforcement processing center in Otero County and come through Albuquerque this week. J
They're passing through the Duke City on their way to be reunited with their families.
"From what we understand, these families are not staying in Albuquerque—they're just passing through. The City of Albuquerque does not have a role in housing anybody," said Michelle Melendez, director of the city's Office of Equity and Inclusion. "All we're doing is helping receive donations from the generous people in Albuquerque who learned about this from their churches and neighborhood associations."
The backpacks were stuffed with travel-sized toiletries, coloring books, food—anything that would it more comfortable for families traveling through our state.
"What's really touching is we got a donation of a gift card and it said, 'Bienvenidos a los Estados Unidos.' Which means, 'Welcome to the United States," Melendez said. "So this is a counter-message that people have been hearing. If they ever heard they weren't welcomed from Albuquerque, they are hearing that they are welcomed here."
Melendez said the private nonprofit Lutheran Family Services has been in touch with the federal government to help the families get to where they need to be.
An Albuquerque fire station has served as the holding place for all the clothes and donations coming in.
"I think it's a statement about Albuquerque, about New Mexico," Regan said. "We're not unicultural. We never have been."
Updated: July 24, 2018 06:30 AM
Created: July 23, 2018 09:57 PM
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