Thursday, February 14, 2019

McAllen Feb #2

And yesterday was a good day. Always good when I keep busy and do things that matter. One of the activities was photocopying forms; we take a copy of the adult's info (just name ad where going) and write the names of the minors on the copy. This way we know who is at the center with whom and where they are going, so when we call for those leaving at, say, 930, we can call them by name if necessary.

The clothing rooms are always a mess. The women's was particularly awful--shirts ad jeans just throw on shelves. A couple of volunteers got the jeans in shape ad I started on tops. Everyone has their own way of organizing and that's fine--IF they are consistent. For example, I tend to start with one shelf small, next one down medium, and so on. If it's reversed, fine. I follow that organization. But when the shelf says long sleeved and there are short sleeved mixed in, it's frustrating. I have to unfold every shirt to find out where it goes and then refold it. And we have lots of shirts for women!

I cnosider it a mark of success that one volunteer avoided eye contact with me yesterday in the hall. She, and a few others during the day, just wandered about. Whenever possible, I give them work. Why else are they there? But it was notable yesterday that several volunteers simply wandered. We need help......

Another task I have begun doing is carrying bottles of water for the staff who are doing intake interviews. When new refugees arrive, they are stuck behind desks ad tables, making phone calls, working with clients. Since they can't really get up ad go anywhere, I bring them bottles of water. Have to serve the servants too, right?

We lost our showers yesterday. There was a semi-trailer with 4 showers each for men and women, and apparently it belonged to some other organization. They removed it. Now our people arrive, get clean clothes, but have no chance to shower. I really hope something else ca be arranged because those showers really help them feel like people worthy of dignity again.

We had three kids get away from their parents yesterday, and then panic. The loudspeaker is really useful. One woman had stitches under one eye and was ready to have them removed...but that is for the nurse or doctor in the clinic. We will give out ibuprofen, anti-nausea, and children's tylenol at the front desk but that's about all.

Ankle monitors have begun showing up again too....to recharge, the individual has to sit by an outlet for some hours as it recharges. And they are dehumanizing as well.

Going in early today; some will leave on busses beginning at 730 or 8 and there's rarely anyone but a couple of staff members there working. But folks going to cold places need sweaters and coats, if we have them. I could definitely help with that.

so until later.....

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