SAN ANTONIO — As thousands of migrant families continue to cross the border, many find themselves in San Antonio for a brief time with next to nothing.
It's a common sight at Travis Park Church, where many of these migrants spend at least one night as they travel to their final destination.
"It ranges from about 200 to 300 (migrants) a night," said Rev. Gavin Rogers, the coordinator for the church's overnight shelter. "When they're released from detention they're released with very little. Many of the children don't have a lot of care essentials that they would usually have, and so we're trying to figure out how to meet that need."
Cue Kathleen Laborde and her daughter, Isabel, who are on a mission to bring a little comfort to what can be a scary situation for some kids.
"We want them to look at these little faces and say, 'Oh, that's a friend, that's my pal,'" Kathleen Laborde said as she held up one of their homemade dolls that will be donated to a migrant child.
Using old T-shirts and a new sewing machine, the Labordes began making stuffed dolls the children will receive at the shelter—small enough to carry but big enough to rest their head on.
"When we see the horrendous news that we've seen this week, everybody wants to do something," Kathleen continued. "This, I think, is a tangible thing. It's something you can do but also a way you can share love and comfort the children."
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Comfort by way of a labor of love.
Travis Park Church has served more than 12,000 migrants since its shelter's opening at the end of March. While the Labordes will not give up working to make every child a doll, they say they could use some help.
A Facebook page created by the duo provides instructions on how to make the dolls. Shelter personnel told KENS 5 you can drop them off at Travis Park during normal church hours.
"They're doing the best they can, and if we can make it just a little tiny bit better, let's do it," Isabel Laborde said.
"However, many we have each is going to a child," Kathleen added. "You're just going to try."
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