9-year-old helping at immigration shelter, as the need for volunteers grows
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 04:54:23 GMT —
The Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities is in need of volunteers for their Immigrant Welcome Centers.They are welcoming volunteers of all ages.9-year-old Francisco Flores is an example that you are never too young to lend a hand.For more than a week, Flores has been volunteering at the Sacred Heart Church in McAllen.He tells me that some days he works until 11:30 at night, past closing time.However, the next day he is back at the shelter bright and early helping those families who were just released from immigration holding facilities.Families that spent days inside a holding facility after being caught by border patrol agents in their attempts to cross illegally into the United States.He helps families get a clean change of clothes and food."At the first day I did more than 12 families," Flores said.While Flores might be too young to comprehend this current humanitarian crisis, he's not too young to learn the meaning of lending a hand to those who need it the most."Well I think because it's good and like if I could do it they could do it," Flores said. "In the first day I have done more than 12 families so they could do it too."Flores will be at the shelter again on Monday."I've enjoyed it a lot," Flores said.However, it's still not enough; the charity is in need of volunteers.The Catholic Church is asking for more dedicated and hardworking volunteers like Flores since the number of volunteers has greatly decreased since the first weeks of the immigration crisis."I want to say maybe 50 at a time, now this morning we had 3-4 volunteers," Sister Leticia Benavides said. "It's really dropped and the people were all coming in and we had families who were waiting to help them."Sister Benavides says that some families waited for an hour to be helped, a big difference from the minutes families waited a few weeks ago.Saturday the Catholic Church had an all-time high of 189 undocumented immigrants come to their facility; 86 stayed overnight.Sister Benavides tells Action 4 News that as long as there is the need they will be there helping these immigrants."We want this to continue and we can only continue if there are people to help facilitate this," Sister Benavides said. "It seems like the crisis isn't going anywhere, it seems to just continue and keep growing."Volunteers are needed every day in both the McAllen and the Brownsville Immigrant Welcome Centers.Donations are also needed.Every day the needs change and that is why the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have opened a blog where they update daily what is in high demand in their shelters.Right now, all donations should be taken to the Rio Grande Valley Food Bank who is a partner of the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities.