LAGRANGE, Ill. — As migrants arrived in Chicago after being bused from Texas, they have typically stayed at the Salvation Army for several days before being moved into hotels in the surrounding suburbs.
Delilah Martinez — owner of Vault Gallerie in Pilsen — has been working to meet up with migrants and bring donations to help their children begin school.
“This is a fragile and very sensitive time for these families,” Martinez said. “They have traveled through eight states, a jungle, through rivers, they saw people dead on the way … all types of things they had to go through just to get here.”
The latest arrivals Martinez has organized to help are a group of 40 Venezuelans staying at a hotel in Countryside. 17 of the 40 Venezuelans are children who just started school Monday in District 105 in LaGrange.
“A lot of [the children] say they want to go to school,” said Ricky Medina, a volunteer who works with Martinez. “So we take [them] coloring books [because] they say, ‘when I go to school’ they want that.”
District 105 said it has received enough donations to help students begin school, but you can still drop off items at Vault Gallerie in Pilsen as coats, shoes and toys for the children are still needed.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up if you would like to make a monetary donation.