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Community organizations step up for migrants bused from Texas, donations flood in

Outpouring of donations for migrants who were bused in from Texas
Outpouring of donations for migrants who were bused in from Texas 02:49

CHICAGO (CBS) -- As 75 migrants spent their second night in Chicago after being bused from Texas, local organizations have ensured they will not be emptyhanded.

As CBS 2's Marybel González reported Thursday night, there has already been an outpouring of support – and you can help too.

At the Vault Gallerie, at 2015 S. Laflin St. in the Pilsen neighborhood, donations have been coming in all day. They included toothbrushes, soaps, lotions, and all the essentials.

Receiving them is a group of asylum seekers, largely from Venezuela, who arrived by bus to Union Station Wednesday night with only the clothes on their backs. They were sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, on the grounds that Chicago is a sanctuary city and a point needs to be made about President Joe Biden's "inaction at the border."

Baltazar Enriquez, president of the Little Village Community Council, called on community members and pastors in the area just minutes after the group of about 70 asylum-seekers were dropped off – to see how they could help.

"This is nothing new for Little Village. Little Village is the mecca of immigrants," Enriquez said. "Everybody comes through here - and we also as immigrants know the feeling, so we know how to provide the services to them, because we've been through it."

In just a matter of hours, they were able to fill the back room of the organization's office space with essential items.

"We got baby clothes, adult clothes, women's sanitary stuff they're sending us, deodorant," Enriquez said.

It will all be dropped off at the Salvation Army Freedom Center in Humboldt Park, where asylum seekers are temporarily staying.

Back at the Vault Gallerie, a similar undertaking was under way. A group of activists turned to social media to ask for supplies there.

"The instinct was to help," said Pilsen activist William Guerrero.

Delilah Martinez owns the gallery.

"We got like just necessities – toothbrushes, Q-Tips, soaps, deodorants, tissues," Martinez said. "We all started asking everybody from our social media following to donate $5, $10, $15 - and we quickly, within a couple hours, raised about $500 - and their donations are still coming in.

This mission is about helping those in need, but also about sending a message of a community united for a cause.

"Everybody is trying to help – and that's a good thing, because we can show the governor from Texas that you can send anybody you want over here," said activist Ricky Medina. "We'll take care of them."

"It shows that when something happens in Chicago, Chicago shows up," said Guerrero.

The two organizations have set up GoFundMe pages, and they intend to use some of the money to purchase gift cards for some of the migrants – who will be leaving the Salvation Army Center pending their immigration status.

GoFundMe: Little Village Community Council

GoFundMe: Vault Gallerie

The Salvation Army is also accepting donations and supplies. Just make sure you call ahead to coordinate the dropoff.

The City of Chicago is coordinating donations through the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. People can schedule drop-offs and get more information by emailing

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