Support for Afghan Refugees

Many of those fled with only a small suitcase or even just the clothing on their backs. We will be seeing an influx of refugees into the DC metro area that are working with local organizations to provide support. 

This is not an exhaustive list nor are we able to validate the efficacy of these organizations and encourage you to do your own homework in order to best support these individuals. Please visit our page on Best Practices around Humanitarian Aid to think about best ways to support our local and global communities while reducing harm. 

 

Lutheran Social Services in the National Capital Area 

https://lssnca.org/take_action/afghan-allies.html 

As of August 16, LSSNCA have welcomed 68 families totaling nearly 300 people. At least 150 more individuals are expected to be referred to our care within the next week to 10 days. We will continue to keep you posted on this webpage and through our social media platforms. 

How does LSSNCA welcome new neighbors?

When a refugee or SIV family is assured with LSSNCA, they are assigned a case manager through the Reception & Placement (R&P) program, which is funded by the U.S. State Department. The R&P program includes initial support, including: 

  • securing housing for the family 
  • picking up the family at the airport (or Fort Lee) 
  • arranging a home setup 
  • ensuring a culturally appropriate meal and a week’s worth of groceries are ready for the family in the home when they arrive 

Over the course of three months, LSSNCA case manager provides continued support with: 

  • family health screenings 
  • enrollment in K-12 public school 
  • enrollment in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes 
  • applications for benefits (e.g., social security, Medicaid, etc.) 
  • orientation on topics such as pre-employment, transportation, and cross-cultural adjustment

Along with the R&P, clients receive a wide range of specialized support from LSSNCA including employment services, medical referrals, K-12 educational support, and youth case management, as well as various types of volunteer and mentoring support. You can learn more about R&P and other LSSNCA programs and services on our refugee and immigrant services webpage.  Services and continuing program benefits beyond the three-month timeframe requires the partnership of community groups and individual donations.

How can you help?

We've received an outpouring of love and support for Aghan Allies from our community. Thank you for welcoming these families as we see a rapid influx of arrivals and expect this trend to continue over the next few weeks. The list of actions below offers immediate support to our Afghan neighbors. 

  1. DONATE: A gift of any size offers immediate assistance to arriving families which will cover transportation, temporary housing, and provide for the urgent needs of arriving families. DONATE NOW. 
  2. ACT: We're calling on volunteers to help provide transportation, set up apartments, and assemble and collect Welcome Home Gift Boxes. Sign-up to volunteer here.  
  3. ADVOCATE: Send a message to President Biden saying you support a full evacuation of Allies from Afghanistan as soon as possible. Send your support of Afghan Allies here. 
  4. START A FUNDRAISER: Is your workplace, congregation, or neighborhood interested in starting a fundraiser? We encourage you to do so. Many businesses are pitching in and donating a portion of proceeds to our arriving families. Once you have collected funds, easily donate them through our donate page or send a check to our DC office. As an individual you can easily start a fundraiser through our Facebook page. 
  5. STAY IN TOUCH: Be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on the evolving situation and how to stay involved! 
 

LSSNCA is looking for volunteers to help these families find temporary housing, organize home setups, transport arriving families from Fort Lee, in-kind donations of furniture and supplies, storage space and financial donations.

Complete this form to learn how you can help.

 

Homes Not Borders

Homes Not Borders is also looking for volunteers and donations of furniture and supplies to help Afghan families. You can volunteer as a group with a school or community group by collecting items needed and contacting Homes Not Borders to transport them. You can also volunteer as an individual and help their crews with set-ups Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Riverdale/Landover area of Prince George's County. Email laura@homenotborders.org for more information on volunteer opportunities.

You can also donate new items. They have created an Amazon wish list here with their most needed items, especially twin mattresses and frames. They also take gently used items like pots and pans, twin sheets and coffee tables and dressers. A full list can be found here. You can either fill out their donation form or email them at info@homesnotborders.org to set up a pick-up time or drop-off time at their warehouse at 3610 East Street in Landover. They are also taking monetary donations.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

https://www.lirs.org/help-our-afghan-allies/

On Tuesday, August 24 at 4 p.m. EDT, LIRS is hosting “The Afghan Crisis: How to Help Our Neighbors,” a webinar discussion about the situation on the ground in Kabul, our advocacy efforts, and tangible ways to help our Afghan neighbors.

Visit the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service website for more information about how to ACT, Donate, Teach and Educate yourself about the crisis and how to help.  

Additional Resources

Lapis, an Afghan restaurant in DC, is collecting supplies for refugee families. A list of the items needed can be found on this Instagram post.

You can drop off supplies at Lapis, 1847 Columbia Road NW, and The Berliner, 3401 K Street NW, from Aug. 18-27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (weekdays only). They are no longer taking old pots & pans, used clothing, used bedding or used undergarments.

 

Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is taking donations to help displaced Afghans. You can contribute to their Facebook page.

The Mustafa Center in Annadale, Virginia is also collecting donations to help provide food and essentials for displaced families from Afghanistan. Donate here.

During this time of turmoil, many Afghan women fear the Taliban will confine them once again to their homes and take away many of the rights they fought to regain. Women for Women Internationalis accepting donations so that they can help. Their teams in Afghanistan are currently sheltering-in-place. One donor said they will match up to $500,000. Learn more here.

The International Rescue Committee is also collecting donations to help Afghan citizens. They've worked in Afghanistan for three decades and launched a $10 million appeal to raise funds to make sure their teams can continue to provide life-saving services, emergency cash assistance and protection to displaced families in Kabul. Donate here.

 

 

Articles on how to help Afghanistan refugees: 

How people in the US can help arriving Afghans | ABC News

LIST: How to help Afghan refugees by volunteering, donating in Virginia, DC and Maryland | ABC 7

How to help Afghanistan Refugees and the Relief Effort | The New York Times

Here's how to help Afghan Refugees in the DC Area | DCist