Caravan of Compassion to Bring Love to New Braunfels on Saturday
Canyon Lake Forest resident Matt Stevison, a retired staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, wasn’t happy when news broke that President Donald Trump had disparaged veterans for their military service.
In his mind he could see the faces of his comrades — and they weren’t losers.
He staged a small protest outside his house.
Then he met former New Braunfels City Councilwoman Aja Edwards. They’re campaign volunteers for Democrat Stephanie Britten Phillips, who’s running against incumbent Republican Kyle Biedermann for Texas House District 73.
“I met Aja and it kind of morphed more into, if I’m feeling this way then there must be other people that are hurting and in pain and confused, so we went from there and said well, how can we get our message out to the most people that there are people that care about and love about you regardless of what your label is, regardless of who put it on you, regardless of what you’ve been through, that we love you,” he said.
They decided to stage a Caravan of Compassion, now scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3 in New Braunfels.
The nine-mile route begins at CBE Companies’ parking lot, 607 S. Business, I-35 and winds through New Braunfels, over to Main Plaza then back to I-35. The caravan passes the city fire station, Colonial Manor and other facilities the Caravan of Compassion wants to show a little love to.
Organizers are planning a voter-registration drive in the CBE parking lot and donations of school supplies and personal protective equipment for teachers will be collected by Phillips.
Edwards said anyone who would like to join the Caravan of Compassion should leave political flags and signs behind and decorate their vehicles with flags, art and signs that send positive messages.
The point isn’t to drive around waving flags — it’s to show appreciation for the good things New Braunfels offers its residents, she said.
According to the event’s Facebook page, “Caravan of Compassion is a chance to come together and show New Braunfels that there are people who love and respect each other, show compassion and kindness instead of divisiveness. Veterans, LGBTQ+, people of color, people who struggle with mental health issues, teachers, nurses, frontline workers, anyone who is struggling right now. It is especially aimed at showing the underrepresented, marginalized members of our community that you are loved and you are seen. If you aren’t struggling right now, then we need your presence to be the light to lift others up! Everyone is welcome here!”
Edwards said organizers listened to frustrations expressed by residents who are annoyed by the weekly Trump Train, a caravan of cars that passes through the city on Thursday nights, horns blaring and participants yelling campaign slogans to homeowners and passersby.
Her group discussed their proposed route with New Braunfels police and scheduled the caravan for Saturday, when people aren’t working or trying to put children to bed.
“We’re not trying to be copycats,” she said. “We want something public that shows the other side of what New Braunfels has to offer. We’re kind and compassionate.”
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