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Aug 2, 2014 12:35 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Local nonprofit still helping steady flow of immigrants

TUCSON - About five to 15 Central American immigrants are still passing through Tucson every day, according to Mike Gutierrez with Catholic Community Services.

Gutierrez is the volunteer coordinator taking care of donations made to the families. He said the office still receives a steady flow of supplies.

"What I see is a great response from the community and the needs for these women and children," Gutierrez said as he looked at a room full of food and toiletry items.

ICE does not drop the immigrants at the Downtown Greyhound station anymore. They are dropped off at an undisclosed location where Catholic Community Services provides assistance. They only stay a few hours and rarely spend the night. Then the nonprofit gives them a ride to the bus station, according to Gutierrez.

Laura Aldag brought bags of items to the CCS office on Speedway Boulevard Friday afternoon. Her congregation, Saint Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church, gathered the items.

"They've been saddened to hear that all these women and children are arriving in our community and being left at the bus stop without any resources," Aldag said. "They've been motivated to try to do what they can to help.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief has given Saint Francis Church a $5,000 grant to help the families. They are still trying to figure out exactly how to use the money, according to Aldag.

Donations can be brought to the Catholic Community Services office at 140 West Speedway. People can also donate online by clicking this link.


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