Help for Immigrant Neighbors Passing Through Knoxville
You may have heard that immigrant families are getting released by ICE at the border and at some detention centers and put on buses for 24-48+ hours without food, water, diapers, even underwear. Most of the families are trying to get to families in other parts of the country, but pass through Knoxville because of our location on I-40 and I-75. Bearden HS Spanish Teacher and friend of COS, Karen Lattus, reports: “We have had an amazing response from the community in the way of material donations (for now), but we are running desperately thin on people power. We are trying to meet three buses a night/21 per week, and after nearly three weeks of this, we are all running ragged and getting sick. So, we NEED volunteers. We have three main categories of volunteers that are needed:
- Interpreters/bilingual greeters: contact Kukuly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Supply car drivers (fill up car with provided care packages, water, etc. and drive to station to meet bus): contact Alistair at 865-441-7247
- Runners (bring things from supply car into station as requested by interpreters/greeters): contact Katie at (202) 390-0043
The buses that need to be met are generally scheduled for 6:50 pm, 11:40 pm, and 5:30 am; however, they are frequently late/off schedule, so we have to check the Greyhound Bus Tracker on a regular basis and adjust at a pretty rapid pace. It would certainly help to have a larger pool of available volunteers to pull from! Thank you so much for any help/connections you might be able to provide!
If any of you would like to help with these tasks, please contact the numbers above, but also let us know so that we can be aware of your service.
Thank-you! John Gill, Pastor