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'Pay it forward': Rogers Park volunteer gets clothing, shoes to recently arrived migrants

Rogers Park volunteer gets clothing, shoes to recently arrived migrants
Rogers Park volunteer gets clothing, shoes to recently arrived migrants 02:17

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A mission to help migrants from a Chicago nonprofit and it has nothing to do with the city.

It's a woman and her church supporting hundreds of migrants and counting and it's something she never even planned to do. CBS 2's Sabrina Franza has the story from Rogers Park.

Luisette Kraal showed CBS 2 her church.

"I normally drive this to church on Sunday morning. And it is like this but with less cars," Kraal said, who remembered a day back in August and she had no idea what was going on.

"That day, I saw people, pockets of people, three people four people."

She had no idea they were coming to see her. One hundred migrants lined up inside, and some even waited outside, in her small, but mighty, storefront sanctuary.

Kraal started putting the pieces together. Days before, she met some migrants just bussed from Texas, and invited them to church. When Luisette Kraal realized they only had the clothes on their backs, she opened up her basement.

It's a free store for Nuevos Vecinos; new neighbors. They got new boots, replacing shoes one migrant had worn his entire trip to the states.

There were shoes, pants, coats...and kindness. As more busses came, her work continued. Near Rogers Park, now she needs a bigger space.

"I have the infrastructure. I just don't have the building," Kraal said. "I would like a big enough space that we can host a shelter for 100 new arrivals. They have this goal to work and provide for themselves."

That's the payment.

"Pay it forward," Kraal said.

"So we tell them. 'This is a store. You're buying the stuff. The only difference is you don't pay for it, because some people, a good neighbor, paid for it. So you could have it free for now, but soon, you will be the neighbor that helps another neighbor,'" Kraal said.

Kraal works with the group Refugee Community Connection. You can join their Facebook group if you're interested in donating supplies for migrants or volunteering your time.

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