3. I would like to volunteer at the border.
(Oct. 2019) The situation at the border has changed due to the implementation of the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” which sees asylum-seekers returned to wait outside the U.S. in Mexico to be called for hearings. The shelters there are overflowing, and many families sleep on the international bridge, in or out of tents, across from Brownsville, Tx. In Matamoros, Mexico.
The volunteer opportunities we are coordinating include those listed below. A one-week minimum commitment is required. Please specify your preferred dates and activities in the message box below for approval.
Brownsville: Being in charge of organizing, shopping for, preparing, and cooking an evening meal for 450-600 people. Some recipes and instructions for purchasing and preparing are available, or you may submit your own plan for approval. Often teams of two oversee the meal. Preparation usually starts about 2pm. Volunteers fundraise prior to arrival to purchase ingredients. Assisting those in charge of the evening meal. Often two to three assistants are needed. All kitchen help must be on the schedule in advance. Transporting the meal from the kitchen to the bus station parking lot (vehicle needed) to then put the meals into carts and pulled over the border to serve. This generally happens around 5-6pm.
McAllen: Assisting Catholic Charities in sorting and organizing donated goods and transporting them across the border, generally a few mornings per week. Assisting at the bus station if there is a need. The numbers of asylum-seekers traveling through is practically nil at this point, but on occasion they are surprised by random high numbers.
San Benito: Assisting at the La Posada long-term shelter. This could include accommodations. There is also an inexpensive hotel nearby. Volunteers are needed for the following: teaching, teaching ESL, landscaping work, doulas to assist mothers with newborns, “godmothers” to accompany pregnant women to doctor appointments, arrange a baby shower, etc., and more. This is a humble but extremely clean and organized center with lovely staff. You will be welcome!