News & Media

By Noorulain Khawaja Hudson Valley

PUBLISHED 6:00 PM ET Aug. 30, 2023


Another Story about 

The Little Shop of Kindness in NYC  

Christine Russo

June 12, 2023 4:54PM

updated June 13, 2023 5:44

Fox 5 NY

Migrant opens up about arduous

 8-month journey to reach the U.S.

One of the newest arrivals in Poughkeepsie shares his story about coming to the U.S. with just the clothes on his back, in search of a better life.

 (Spectrum News 1)



PUBLISHED 6:42 PM ET JUN. 02, 2023

The New York Times, in print!

What a day yesterday in Newburgh! 

May 12, 2023

Members of Reunite Migrant Families and Grannies Respond, Catherine Cole, the Workers Justice Center, For the Many, the NYCLU, and two Orange County legislators greeted two buses of asylum seekers with signs, smiles and shouts of “bienvenidos” (welcome) to Newburgh. More arrived last night,110 men in all, from countries as varied as Venezuela, Mozambique, Senegal, Mauritania, Bolivia, and Afghanistan. 

Hotel staff, NYC facilitators, and the company responsible for managing their lodging, food, transportation and case workers efficiently checked them in. NYC is paying the bill for up to four months as they find jobs and sustain themselves. However, there are other current needs including clothing, shoes,and hygiene items, as well as leads to jobs in the area and legal counseling.

Here is where Reunite Migrant Families and our supporters come in. 

First of all, a BIG thank you to all who have responded to our recent request for support!

Now if you are moved to help even more, we would like to collect a special “pot of money” to provide the items the men need. No donation is too small and every little bit helps.

We are in direct contact with the people working with the men at the hotel; so we can clearly target our donations. Grannies Respond, our parent group, is also contributing. If other asylum seekers come to our area, we aim to be prepared to welcome and to help them as well.

Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

AP Photo/John Minchillo

If you wish to contribute to this special initiative, please donate (tax-deductible) to:

(When it says “Where would you like this donation to be used?”, be sure to indicate “Hudson Valley, NY” and note it is for newly arrived asylum seekers.) 

You may also send a check to: 

Grannies Respond 

℅ V. Carlisle 

83 Mountain Rd.

Pleasant Valley,NY 12569. 

If you would like to be on call to meet and greet people as they arrive, let us know and we will create a group email and chat group solely for this purpose.

Thank you all,

                                 Muriel Horowitz

Steering Committee Member

Reunite Migrant Families 



 Blaise Gomez


New York Times

Tammy La Gorce


News from Team TLC NYC

More than 50,000 asylum seekers have moved through NYC’s intake system. Team TLC NYC was there to greet the first bus and has been on the ground ever since!

Our recently opened our Little Shop of Kindness at 12 W. 40th Street is open for VOLUNTEERS & DONATIONS on Mondays 2-6  pm & Tuesday-Friday 9 am to 3 pm.

We are also back greeting incoming busses at the Port Authority!

You can help by Donating and Volunteering

Volunteer shifts are available Monday-Friday.

Sign up to greet busses at the Port Authority here:

Sign up to help out at our Little Shop of Kindness here:

Please click on this link to find out all the ways you can make donations:

Amnesty Mid-Hudson Fundraiser: Live Music, Film, Panel, Silent Auction

Tuesday May 9th, 2023, at the Rosendale Theate, the Amnesty Mid-Hudson Fundraiser took place with Live African Music by Amadou Diallo & Family, the Film "From Beacon to the Border", Silent Auction, and Panel Discussion led by Ilgu Ozler. The Panel included Speakers from Grannies Respond, For the Many, Ulster Immigrant Defense Network, Worker Justice Center, and Amnesty International Mid-Hudson. Panelists included Valerie Carlisle, Diana Lopez, Father Frank Alagna, and Renan Salgado. Andrea Degeorge Garbarini was there to screen her film, From Beacon to the Border, which documents the Grannies origin story. Thanks to Diana Zuckerman for organizing this gem of an event! Several OGs (Original Grannies) were in attendance: Andrea Degeorge Garbarini, Claire M Nelson, Barry Nelson, Antonio Mochilero, Valerie Carlisle, and Catherine Cole.

Congratulations to Team TLC NYC Director Ilze Thielmann, winner of a Kindness is Cool award from the Luisa Diaz Foundation 

Ilze was honored at the MAG Gala 2023 at the Plaza, 768 5th Avenue NYC, on May 18. 

Team TLC NYC is an all-volunteer organization that has been greeting and assisting asylum seekers arriving in NYC since June 2019. Founded by Vinnie Elizabeth, who was inspired by Team Brownsville, and later led by Margaret Seiler, TTLC ramped up in 2022 under Ilze's leadership.

More than 25,000 asylum seekers have moved through the city's intake system in the last year alone. Team TLC NYC has been on the ground greeting them since day one.

Team TLC NYC is a Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden, Inc. group. Grannies Respond is a national, all volunteer 501(c)3 organization that has been assisting asylum-seekers in over 14 states across the U.S. since August 2018.

Reunite Migrant Families Spring 2023 Newsletter!

Grannies Respond Hudson Valley Group

has so much to share! 

Please take some time and read what they've been up to.

With a rented van full of donated items, and no firm idea where she was headed, 

California Grannie Elisa O'Callaghan's first trip to the border was just the beginning

Profile from Grannies Respond Spring Newsletter, March 2023

Little Shop of Kindness

Our NYC group, Team TLC NYC (Ilze Thielmann and volunteers) have moved out of Port Authority and through the generosity of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at 12 W. 40th St., NYC, have been gifted a wonderful space to open Team TLC NYC’s “Little Shop of Kindness.” Volunteers have worked very hard to make a mini-Bloomingdale’s… a charming store filled with donated goods where asylum seekers and those with children also, will be able to come and shop for free with a personal shopper to assist them! Civilized and dignified treatment of those with virtually nothing. Clothing, shoes, coats, toys, books, and more. And they will provide lunches. #kindless #teamtlcnyc 

Volunteers like Joan DeWitt, a retired nurse, from Atlanta, Georgia can be a lifeline for asylum seekers helping them to connect with legal services or mental health support. Photo by Bita Honarvar for palabra 

Overextended volunteers offer a warm welcome and friendly faces to asylum seekers after a long treacherous journey.  At times, needs outstrip capacity.

Words by Allison Salerno @allisonbsalerno     Photos by Bita Honarvar @BitaHonarvar

for Palabra   March 15, 2023

Jo Schlesinger in 


Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden

Grannies Respond members Jo Schlesinger and Allan Willinger go the extra miles to assist asylum seekers 

Allan Willinger in 

El Paso

January 12 to March 12, 2023

"Breslin’s images focus their attention on migrants and immigrants from areas south of our country’s border. "

On March 5th,  Grannies Respond, represented by Valerie Carlisle, our Hudson Valley lead, and board member, and Catherine Cole, Exec. Director, was honored to be invited to a panel discussion at Saint Patrick – Saint  Anthony in Hartford, Ct., along with Fr. Julian Jagudilla of The Migrant Center, at the Church of Saint Francis of Assissi, NYC.

An event was held at the Clare gallery at the Franciscan Urban Center where our friend an talented artist, Christine Breslin, exhibited her very moving photographs of migrants.

The religious studies students and many parents attended. The students worked very hard to get donations and purchase tons of clothing, socks, toys, crayons, and so much more to stuff into many, many backpacks for asylum children!

We could not be more impressed nor more grateful!

Volunteers from the Vassar community chose Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden as a local nonprofit organization to receive financial support through the College’s Community Works program. 


view article here: December 2022

A tough new immigration measure could disqualify the vast majority of migrants from being able to seek asylum at the southern border.


Please comment!!! 

See the article below and see the actual rule below that.   Very urgent!

New York Times Article 02/2123

comment here: Circumvention of Lawful Pathways document

Rachna Daryanani, of New York, prays to her mother asking her to watch over the migrant children she saw at the border.(Ana Ramirez/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Joshua Rubin (left) talks to Venezuelan migrant Jefferson on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande on Friday.

by: Julian Resendiz

Posted: Dec 9, 2022 / 06:10 PM CST

We are here to look at the border – the full border – because the border not only stops people from coming in, it also keeps us from seeing what this border is doing to people on the other side of the river.” 

November 2022             view article here

"What I found was the most extraordinary volunteer operation I have seen in many decades of work. A group called Grannies Respond stepped in to take this on, operating at the terminal under the name TLC-NYC. They had people signing up for shifts throughout the day, starting at 6 am. They negotiated a space at Port Authority and their volunteers would greet arriving asylum seekers with an enthusiastic welcome."

Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden Executive Director, Catherine Cole, networking in New York City for Team TLC-NYC during the influx of asylum seekers from Texas.   October 2022    

Volunteer Rachna Daryanani hands out goods to migrants at the border bus station. Photos courtesy of Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden.