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Jul 1, 2014 8:32 PM by Lauren Reimer

Local non-profits accepting donations for migrant families

TUCSON - After being apprehended after crossing the border into Arizona, and later processed by ICE, many immigrants are dropped off at the Tucson Greyhound station, with little to eat, drink, or wear.

Sometimes as many as 20 families come through the doors every day. From here, they get on a bus, eventually meeting up with family already in the U.S., while they wait for a deportation hearing.

"Getting from here to Boston, making multiple transfers in multiple locations when you don't speak the language is a tough lift," said Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik.

That's where some Tucson non-profits want to step in.

"This is a federal issue, but they've dropped it on our doorstep, and so from a humanitarian standpoint, we are simply saying we are going to help transition these people as gracefully as possible," said Kozachik.

They're calling it 'Project Mariposa,' a combined effort with Catholic Community Services, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, and the Tucson Ward 6 office.

Together, the group is working to organize donations. "Snack packs, for the folks, the women and children to have on their bus trip," said volunteer Bernadette Frankiewicz.

"We're also collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, cream," said Mike Gutierrez, with Catholic Community Services.

Other needed items include pillows, pillowcases, and coloring books for the kids. All these donations are being accepted at the Catholic Community Services center at 140 W. Speedway in Tucson.

They also need volunteers. Already, 200 people have signed up to help, but that may not be enough.

"We're coordinating day teams to run about two hour shifts six hours a day at the Greyhound station to help provide some advocacy work," said Bryan Davis, with the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.

If you want to help, you can also call the Ward 6 office, at (520) 791-4601.

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