SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego has been asked to coordinate services for the unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the San Diego Convention Center for the days ahead. Since Wednesday, The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego has checked-in hundreds of volunteers to be available to assist the children.
Reverend Rebecca Dinovo told News8, "Volunteers will provide religious and spiritual care services, bringing comfort, worship, and prayers to these children, hoping this will help with their transition in a new place."
They’re looking for faith-based volunteers and counselors immediately.
Dinovo said there are specific requirements of being a volunteer:
- You must speak Spanish
- Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
- There will be an extensive background check.
Dinovo said this is just the beginning, members will be at the convention center assessing to see the personal needs of the children. EDSD hopes to have a structured plan in place as of this week to operate effectively to start providing services.
EDSD said their organization is no longer seeking volunteers; however, anyone interested in volunteering should contact SBCS (previously known as South Bay Community Services via their website at sbcssandiego.org/volunteer or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego provided a statement to News 8 on Saturday which read:
“The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego has been asked to coordinate religious and spiritual care services for the unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the San Diego Convention Center this week. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and these are God's beloved children who will be our neighbors for a short time. Caring for them answers God's commandment to love others. We are glad to add their spiritual care to the many other ways our churches help those in need in the greater San Diego area. The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, led by its Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, is working with our partners in other denominations and other faiths to organize volunteers who would bring comfort, worship, and prayers to these children. Volunteers would need to speak Spanish, be fully vaccinated against COVID, and have a background check. We are thankful for the support of the Pacifica Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as well as the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, and many other faith leaders in our city, who stand ready to help the children with spiritual care. Working with the contractor providing programming for the children in the convention center, we hope to have an organizational structure in place soon.”
Watch: San Diego leaders discuss the expected arrival of unaccompanied minors