Highland Park, which banned unscheduled migrant bus drop-offs this week, partnered with local organizations to collect care packages to distribute to migrants who arrive in the area.
Serving and Learning Together (SALT), a non-profit organization, said they partnered with the City of Highland Park and the Rotary Club of Highland Park and Highwood.
The initiative, “Take Care” packages, will help meet a “very urgent, present need,” SALT said.
“We believe in the power of community and the positive impact we can make when we join together to support those in need,” the organization said.
The care packages will be a “tangible expression” of the community’s care for others.
They are designed to assist migrants who arrive by bus in Highland Park from Texas while they await transfer to the Chicago Processing Center.
“SaLT recognizes the challenges faced by those arriving in a new community, state, or country, and we aim to ease their transition by providing essential items that will promote well-being and provide comfort,” SALT said.
The care packages include non-perishable food items, hygiene products, first aid kits, blankets, children’s school supplies and toys, and gift cards for local grocery stores or pharmacies.
The organization and the City of Highland Park have asked the community to donate items for the care packages.
Items can include non-perishable food and drink, hygiene products, clothing, first aid kits, flashlights, prepaid phone cards, children’s items and gift cards to stores.
Donations can be dropped off at the Highland Park City Hall, First Bank of Highland Park, Highland Park Bank and Trust, Northwood Middle School, Edgewood Middle School, Centennial Ice Arena, West Ridge Center and Deer Creek Racquet Club.
SALT says that the drive is ongoing to meet future needs with a goal of having a minimum of 200 care packages available at all times.
On Tuesday, Highland Park and Deerfield both passed ordinances banning unscheduled migrant drop-offs in the two towns and allowing them to impound buses and fine bus operators.
Highland Park Council Member Andrés Tapia said the city’s focus was on safety and compassion.
“I’m proud to be a leader in a city that has the values of supporting individuals, families and children in need,” Tapia said.
Lee Goodman, a Northbrook resident, spoke out against the ordinance during public comment.
“This ordinance is not fooling anyone. You pretend it is to help people but what you’re really trying to do is to keep these people from getting off in your town,” Goodman said.
Several buses have dropped off migrants unscheduled in Highland Park in December.
During one of the instances, over 50 migrants were dropped off by bus at a Metra station. They eventually boarded a Metra train bound for Chicago.