Sisters Brenda Gonzales and Rosemarie Kirwan began driving to the Brownsville Diocese in Texas on March 7 and arrived on the evening of March 8 in Alton, Texas staying with Becky and Ricardo (brother of Felix Garza, SCNA). Becky lived with Sister Brenda in Edinburg, Texas, from 1984-88.

Sisters Brenda shares the following:

On March 9 we went to the Humanitarian Center in McAllen to see what we would be doing. Sister Brenda went with college students from St. Mary’s in South Bend, Indiana, and Ohio Dominicans in Columbus to cross the border at Brownsville to Matamoros, Mexico, to pass out supplies to the 3,000 people in the tent city at the bridge.

Sister Rosie stayed at the center helping with packing up supplies for future trips. The whole week there were lots of spring break volunteers from all over the country. Since there were so many volunteers we said we would fill in wherever the greatest need was.

So we have had our days free until 3:30 pm when we set out for our 30-minute ride to the center. We then check-in and begin setting up for their 6 pm supper then serving and cleanup and we get home around 7:30 pm.

We share with Becky and Ricardo about our day and hear about theirs.

The Coronavirus has made a run on the stores here too but no reports of any cases but not really testing either widely.

On Friday at 7:30 a.m. already a run on Sam’s. We were buying food for the refugees with monies donated to us from many of you. There was no rice, no big boxes of oats or sugar but we did get $733 worth of supplies and Willie who works for the Respite Center will keep looking and buying what is needed with the rest of our monies.

When we returned this Monday a whole new experience. No college students volunteering because schools have canceled trips. No more trips across to Matamoros because they don’t want the virus from the U.S.

Only volunteers who have been coming can continue with no new volunteers.

Lots of prayers for all.

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