Refugees who pass their credible fear interview get released at the bus stations by ICE in the border towns. Local charities and organizers like Angry Tias and Abuelas or Catholic Charities help them with basic necessities like a warm shower, cloth and hot food. They also help them with purchasing their bus ticket to their final destination where they will meet a family member, a friend or a sponsor. They are given four small sandwiches, some snacks, a few bottles of water, an envelope with for their documents in a bag. These refugees have to travel sometimes for days before reaching their destination. So what they are given will not sustain them. In addition, they often have to make several transfers from one bus to another in various cities in the middle of their journey. Navigating bus stations without knowing the language can be daunting.
Refugees need a friendly face along the way and someone who can provide them assurance/guidance.
They are having a hard time navigating bus terminals and figuring out the next bus that they need to board. As a result, they may miss their bus midway through their trip.
Refugees only get a limited foor or other essential items with them at the border town, so many of them run out before getting to their final destination.
We have heard stories of mothers with infants traveling from West Texas who have no diapers, and others who are feeding their babies Gatorade because they have no formula. We also have heard that the prepaid tickets often have the wrong destination city or number of travelers. When this error is caught in-route, Greyhound cannot, or will not, issue a credit for a corrected ticket.
Grannies will provide a smiling and a caring face.
Grannies will assist refugees in finding their next bus.
When possible, grannies will provide basic care kits of food, toiletries, diapers, and even toys for the kids.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are looking for volunteers in the following cities to greet refugees passing through the local bus station (cities with donation websites are linked below, when available - if you are unable to physically volunteer your time, please donate money!):
New York, NY
Columbus, OH - urgent need right now! (Jan. 2019)
Kansas City, KS
If you are interested in getting involved, email us at email@example.com and include the name of the city in your subject line.
In some specific locations, we are able to provide in-person training from experienced grannies already running their own Overground Railroad. Please ask about this possibility in your email.