UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Christmas is such a great time for sharing love, gifts, warmth and food and that’s exactly what one Upper West Side synagogue was doing on Sunday.
There were rooms filled with Christmas joy and love. More than 100 asylum-seekers and their families enjoyed a Christmas party at Upper West Side synagogue SAJ, which stands for the Society for the Advancement of Judaism. The 40 volunteers at the event were also part of Team TLC, a migrant, family-support organization.
“I’ve been working with Team TLC at the Port Authority,” Ruth Messinger, a volunteer and a former Manhattan borough president and NYC councilmember, told PIX11 News. “They are the group that organizes so many programs for the migrants. Most of them are in shelters. They are getting no services and they keep coming back to the Port Authority for help.”
Most of the Spanish-speaking families, here from Venezuela and Ecuador, arrived in New York city with only the clothes on their backs. They are living in city shelters that used to be hotels.
The volunteer said they need everything.
“These people need working papers,” NYC Councilmember Gale Brewer said. “They all want to work.”
Children there posed for pictures with Santa, received hats, gloves, toys and steaming hot food. The gratitude and love was everywhere on this Christmas Day
“They feel thankful because in Ecuador they never had this, even gifts and food,” Irma Davidson, a volunteer translator, told PIX11 News.
If you would like to help the migrant families by donating or volunteering, you can go to the Team TLC website, ttlcnyc.org.