Chris Kunze, SCN, shares her experiences with the Casa Alitas Program in Arizona. Casa Alitas serves migrant families who have left their home countries to escape violence and poverty, providing care, short-term shelter, and help to reunite with family members in the U.S.
As cases of Covid rise throughout the US, so too, among the people that arrive at the doors of Casa Alitas. I have been serving at the overflow location of Casa Alitas, which is located at a local hotel. When I began last week, we had about 20 persons in quarantine. Less than a week later three floors of the hotel are required for isolation and more than 120 men, woman and children must wait a minimum of 10 days before they can make the next part of their journey and be reunited with family and sponsors living in the USA.
One of my undertakings has been to prepare supply kits, clothing, and toy bags as each family arrives. I also help to prepare and serve meals (pictured with fellow volunteer, Robin). Each day I try to bring in a little treat—yesterday it was jars of instant coffee and packages of Oreo cookies. Tomorrow it will be chocolate and fruit cups!
I have been able to do several shopping runs to get needed supplies for the families, thanks to the generosity of so many!
Several times, I have had the joy of accompanying a family to the airport. I am with them through the process of checking in, going through security, and waiting with them until boarding. It allows time to interact with the families. Often a flood of emotions is evident—emotions I can only imagine as they are at the final point before reuniting with their loved ones.
As one mother expressed, “Muchas gracias por todo, ahora se que hay muchas personas buenas en el mundo” . . . Thank you for everything, now I know there are many good people in the world.