“We really feel strongly about helping out families who are in need of a safe place,” said Susan Kurth of the Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club. That message was delivered in 48 individual backpacks.

“One of the most powerful symbols of welcome and support and kindness that we give our families is a travel backpack,” says Jan Olsen of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition.

Each backpack carries a blanket, water, toys and some snacks. The people receiving them —parents recently reunited with their children and refugees waiting as their cases work their way through the courts.

“They come to the greyhound bus station in San Antonio. We give them a travel backpack, we give them travel lunches, we give them medicine, diapers, and we help explain their trip to them,” says Olsen.

It’s a small token of support.

“Their face lights up and they thank us. They’re just so not used to being treated with kindness and support since they’ve been in our country,” says Olsen.

The support transcends language barriers.

“There’s a lot going on today in the world and we thought ‘what could we do in our local community?’ It’s really important for us to do what we can. It was an easy way for us to give back,” said Lalaina Rabary of the Austin Cosmopolitan Rotary Club.