Local volunteers aid asylum seekers in desperate need

By Roxanne Elias / The Blade
Tue, 03 Dec 2019 11:00:00 GMT



A local group of volunteers, once under the radar, are now shedding light on why they aid asylum seekers passing through the Greyhound station in Toledo.

The group is known as the Greyhound Connection. 

“When they get dropped off at the bus station they come with nothing because they travel for months. So informally a whole network was created. Some people call it an overground railroad. It was created to fill the needs. And to make sure people could eat and people weren't sick,” said volunteer Linda Alvarado-Arce.

The Greyhound Connection aids those fleeing from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador where children run the risk of getting trafficked. 

In the meantime, they’ve been given temporary protection and are looking to reunify with their families in surround states. 

Sylvania’s Amy Clark, who volunteers with the group, describes the asylum seekers as being really scared. 

“It usually was one parent with a child, or maybe two children. And they were all basically escaping to save their children from those countries. They had to barter money against their other family members lives to be able to hire a coyote to get into the country and then go to the detainment centers. And then all of them from there had been in the detainment centers about a month. So they were all relatively ill from being in refrigeration all day long,” said Ms. Clark. 

Once at the Greyhound Buses, the group gives the families food, water, hygiene kits, blankets and clothing. 

So far, it has served about 800 people since November last year.

You can volunteer or donate items by contacting José Treviño at (419) 973-0575 or jtrevino0056@gmail.com.