Most of those coming through the Humanitarian Respite Center are small family groups, often with children. Some are young teenagers, others younger. Some are babies needing diapers, cereal, clothes. One was a new born. We have no medical staff, merely a closet of over the counter medicines that never go far enough.
Sometimes the children play, and there is a corner with dvds, books, games, toys. The young boys love the balls. We are fortunate when volunteers come to interact with them. In truth, perhaps half the volunteers do not speak Spanish but with the children, that seems unimportant.
In late June, one group of children from a school in New Jersey (I think) sent cards and small plush toys to give to the children.
Many times, though, the children are frightened and crying, clinging to their parents, afraid to leave their sides. We offer water or juice, a toy, a smile but they turn away in fear. The parents are holding back tears for their children's sake.
No amount of kindness or good will can replace the importance of family.