San Diego

San Diego Group Collecting Items to Help Migrant Caravan

As more migrants are continuing to pour into Tijuana just across the border, a group of volunteers from San Diego are collecting necessary supplies to help the migrants.

An estimated 7,000 people are expected to arrive in the coming days. Shelters in the Tijuana were already full, and spaces were running out at a sports complex housing hundreds of families.

"Right now, the people in Parque Benito Juárez don’t have a lot of access to the food, the blankets that they need while they’re there," said Brendan Cassidy, a volunteer for the Otay Mesa Detention Resistance.

While all of this was happening, the group of San Diegans stated a donation drive to help those south of the border.

"The response has been absolutely amazing,” said Steven Neider, another member of the Otay Mesa Detention Resistance. “It was only going to go for a few days but then people kept bringing and kept bringing, so we let it run and we have filled this place up pretty much to capacity."

The group started the donation drive because the wait for asylum is expected to be a long one. The group crossed the border and handed out the donated items Sunday.

"We’re bringing things down for people who need it the most," Cassidy told NBC 7.

Neider said the response has been overwhelming. People have donated new tents, blankets, clothes, food and diapers. These things are necessary because people are camping out at a sports complex and sleeping on a dirt field.

"It's uplifting, it's amazing to see the community come together, pull together and help people in need," he said. "We have a lot of people on the ground there already and we have three different locations set up to bring them down and are distributing out of to caravan members."

Nieder said when the distribution happens, people are so happy because they have so little.

”They're usually extremely thankful and it brings a smile and lets them know people care," he said.

Cassidy said those who have the privilege to cross have a "responsibility to help the people who are most in need right now."

Esetela Jimenez, another volunteer, said her experiences made her want to give back.

"I feel a big connection, and I feel the empathy," Jimenez told NBC 7. "When I came to the united states, I came to Tijuana, I had people who welcomed me and I want to do the same thing for them. I want to welcome them."

Click here for more information on where to drop off donated items. Or sign up to volunteer with the Otay Mesa Detention Resistance.

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