Girl, 11, creates backpack project to help unaccompanied refugee children

Hannah Ferguson asks for community's help before border trip


SAN ANTONIO – An 11-year-old San Antonio girl concerned about unaccompanied refugee children is doing everything she can to help.

"It'll be all right. Just hold those thoughts, don't worry about tonight. Don't worry about the distance," Hannah Ferguson sang.

She's a little girl with a big goal, singing a song she wrote for unaccompanied Central American refugee children.

"I was watching the news, and I saw the kids on top of the trains and I thought it was really dangerous. And I could tell that some of them didn't have the things they needed because their clothes were shredded," Hannah said.

Hannah did way more than write a song. She and her aunt, Elizabeth Avelar, put together a backpack and supply drive for the refugee children who ended up in shelters along the U.S.-Mexico border and beyond.

"There is now a new wave of younger children and they're actually coming by themselves, where at first they were coming with groups or their families," Avelar said.

Most children can't make the long, dangerous journey and end up in shelters. On July 21, Hannah and a small crew will travel to those shelters to meet the children and deliver the backpacks, full of items such as socks, shoes, toothbrushes, toothpaste and toys. 

Before they make the trip, they need more supplies and are asking the community for donations.

Saturday at the Women's Club Mansion, at 1717 San Pedro Avenue, Hannah will be collecting monetary donations, backpacks and supplies. Just look for the big yellow boxes.

Donations can also be made online at mybackpackfriends.com, a website Hannah created for the project. The website also lists items that you can donate.

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