Glencoe, Community

Glencoe volunteers prep 192 care bags for migrants who come through town

No migrant buses have stopped in Glencoe as of yet but Glencoe is preparing for their potential guests.

Volunteers gathered essentials and more into nearly 200 community care bags on Monday, Feb. 19, at Glencoe Union Church. The effort was intended to not only prepare for local arrivals but also aid neighboring communities should there be a need.

The Village of Glencoe, Family Services of Glencoe and the Glencoe Clergy Association united for the event, during which approximately 40 volunteers packed winter hats, gloves, hygiene products, food, first-aid kits and more into lightweight backpacks. Each backpack includes a personalized welcome note.

Glencoe Public Safety officers helped package the 192 filled bags.

Glencoe Public Safety Director Sean Loughran helps organize the packaged care bags at Glencoe Union Church.

“We saw a need for a combined effort to create a support mechanism in the event anyone shows up at our doorstep,” said Public Safety Director Sean Loughran, who added that while no migrant buses have arrived in Glencoe, if and when travelers do arrive, local leaders thought ready-to-go resources would be the most effective handout.

Buses of migrants — primarily sent without notice from Texas — have arrived in suburbs across Chicagoland since November 2023, when the city of Chicago decided to crack down on bus operators making unscheduled dropoffs.

Since then, several buses have arrived in Wilmette, Highland Park and Winnetka. Wilmette and Highland Park developed donation drives similar to Glencoe’s to provide migrants with essential items whether they stay local or quickly board a train to Chicago and its intake center.

WinnetkaHighland Park and Glencoe — unlike Wilmette — have introduced new policies to regulate unscheduled bus stops.

Volunteers after packing 192 cars bags to support arriving migrants and others in need.

Glencoe’s community effort began with a fundraiser to support the purchase of items for the care bags. Organizers purchased the items and then welcomed volunteers on Monday to pack the bags, which took just over one hour.

Loughran said that many of the bags packed on Monday will go to neighboring communities, likely Wilmette, where the need is greatest. Others will stay on-site for when a need arises in Glencoe. Any excess bags are packed and ready to go for any community members experiencing homelessness or other hardships, he said.

The Rev. Ken Crews, of Glencoe Union Church, said providing support for newcomers to the community is the compassionate thing to do.

“If we can’t connect with each other as human beings, it makes things much more challenging,” Crews said.

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.

Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

Related Stories