Sunday, February 16, 2020

A good deed

I struck up a conversation with a friend at a party Friday night and she told me how she goes to the Greyhound bus station several mornings a week to see if any asylum seekers are on their way from Texas to New York or Chicago.  Yes, there are still a few people being admitted to the U.S. with asylum claims, and put on buses to go somewhere and wait for their hearing date.  And a network of saints on earth has spring up to help these unfortunate migrants on their journey, much as the Underground Railroad helped an earlier generation of migrants.

The buses come up from Texas and stop in Memphis, but since that stop occurs at 4 a.m., nobody meets the bus and there's nobody to call ahead and tell the Louisville people what to expect.  So my friend or somebody from her network is there every day to see if anyone needs help.  Some days there are no seekers on the bus, some days there are three or four.  The morning of our conversation, my friend met a young couple and their 2-month-old baby.

The buses stop here for 40 minutes, time for the greeters give out water and sandwiches (there is no food service at the Louisville bus station, or anywhere in its neighborhood).  They try to have warm gloves and caps on hand, since most of the migrants are not equipped for cold weather.  If more help is needed, somebody will pass the word to the network in Cincinnati; the couple with the baby didn't have coats but probably the good people two hours up the road were able to find some.

I asked my friend if they have a lot of babies come through, because I happen to own a lot of new baby afghans that I would like to give away.  I like to crochet while watching TV or talking with visitors, and a couple of years ago I went on an orgy of using up piles and piles of yarn that were occupying drawers and boxes and bags in every corner of the house.  She said that would be wonderful, because it's often cold on the bus.

So yesterday I hauled out my bags and tubs of afghans -- and realized that in my usual slapdash construction approach, they all had thread ends hanging out where I had started, stopped, or changed yarn in the middle. 

I spent two hours watching a movie on TV and weaving thread ends in with a big-eye needle, and got five afghans ready to deliver at a meeting this afternoon.  I think there are eight more in the TV room waiting to be finished, and I hope I can do that before too long.

This made me feel really good.  Yes, this project clears out at least one cubic yard of stuff that I am thrilled to divest.  But it also allows me to demonstrate in a very small way that although our government may be cruel and hostile to the tired and poor people at our borders, many of us ordinary citizens welcome them through the golden door.


  1. This story makes me feel really good just reading it. I'm sure there are similar opportunities in every community to help those in need. We just need to seek out (or stumble upon) a network to connect us. Baby afghans, I've made my share but always for a specific baby and those are few and far between in my life these days. You're giving me ideas. . .

  2. Good on so many levels. Thank you for sharing this Kathy!

  3. Wonderful post today...... thanks for sharing..... can be on the look out for some to help.......

  4. Love you Kathleen! With jingoistic feelings alarmingly on the rise in India, I would love to share this story in some groups. May I? & if I may, then should I mention you as credits, or remove your identity?

    1. of course you may share -- and feel free to use my name and blog URL

  5. What a wonderful story and contribution, Kathy... I wish I were closer - my father grew up in Louisville and I miss 'home'...bethany

  6. Bless you and all those others helping the poor immigrants. What a wonderful outreach!

  7. This made me happy too. The afghans are beautiful and warm, symbols of caring and support for those seeking better lives for their children. Also wonderful to hear about the people who go the bus station to welcome and provide necessities for the travelers.