North Central News

New group aids migrant families

North Central resident Ginger Torres is a busy mother who also works from home. You would think with so much going on in her life, she wouldn’t have time to also start a nonprofit organization.

But that’s exactly what she did.

Torres is a founding member of The Last Mile AZ, officially launched this year to assist migrant families who have been admitted into the United States as asylum-seekers and then must travel from Phoenix to other parts of the country to stay with their families or sponsors while they await immigration proceedings.

Torres explains that this travel often involves a multi-day bus trip from Phoenix, spanning thousands of miles. “Because most of these families do not speak English and are unfamiliar with bus travel across the United States, [we] saw a need to help travelers that might otherwise get lost or confused and miss connections on multi-day trips,” Torres says.

The Last Mile AZ provides these families with temporary use of a prepaid cell phone and matches each family with a Spanish-speaking volunteer who can assist the family by telephone during the trip, including translation services and providing assistance with unexpected bus itinerary changes.

The Last Mile AZ has assembled over 85 traveler kits (including a cell phone and other information to assist the families on their trip), however additional resources are still needed. A crowdfunding page has been set up at www.Gofundme.com/thelastmileaz.

Additional Spanish-to-English translators also are needed as on-call phone volunteers. For more information about volunteering, call 623-853-7475, or e-mail at TheLastMileAZ@gmail.com. Find them on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheLastMileAZ.

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