SAN ANTONIO – Catholic Charities says the 500 migrant teens who arrived in the city on Monday are being welcomed by people who care in the San Antonio community.
“They’re bringing personalized gifts with notes that say, ‘We love you, and we’re praying for you, and we hope you’re well,’” said Tara Ford, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities.
The teenage boys, ages 13 to 17, are staying temporarily at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall, one of several emergency intake centers, primarily in Texas, set up by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
HHS is working to connect the new arrivals with family members in the U.S. or qualified sponsors.
“The kids appear to be doing really well. They’re resting. They’re eating. They’re playing games,” Ford said.
She said about 1,000 people already have offered to volunteer, but more are needed since more migrant arrivals are expected over the next several weeks.
Ford said, for now, volunteers are being asked to work four-hour shifts from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but she said that could change.
“We’ll understand a little bit more over the next few days about what is needed,” Ford said.
She said male volunteers are needed who are bilingual, if possible, but it’s not required.
Prospective volunteers can sign up on the Catholic Charities website by clicking here. A criminal background check is involved, as well as an online course.
“We’re very grateful to our community in San Antonio for stepping up and always serving with us,” Ford said.
Image courtesy of Catholic Charities.