Many groups are requesting donations, as well as assistance with housing and transportation.
DC-area non-profits are preparing for the arrival of Afghan refugees following the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and they're calling upon the public to help allies and their families resettle in the country.
Afghan allies, people who served under the U.S. government or military in Iraq are receiving aid under Operation Allies Refuge, an order issued by President Joe Biden in July. The order states around 2,500 citizens will relocate to the DMV from Fort Lee in Richmond, Virginia where they'll receive shelter, food, and other services while completing their Special Immigration Visas (SIV) program to ensure future citizenship. The move comes off the President's order to withdraw U.S. troops by September.
Yet current circumstances have created a dire situation for Afghans abroad, where rising tensions in Kabul, border closures, and the suspension of flights to evacuate American personnel are making it difficult for people to escape.
Many organizations in the DMV have pledged their commitment to provide safety to incoming refugees. If you'd like to help, you can check out the following:
The Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) is asking for donations to cover transportation and housing for families. They also need home goods including cookware, cleaning supplies, and bedding, for families to have upon relocation. You can help by assembling donated goods for a New Neighbor Gift Box or purchase them off their Amazon wishlists.
The African Community Center DC Metro provides home furnishings to refugees upon arrival, as well as employment and housing resources. Currently, they're welcoming donations for necessities that can be dropped off at their headquarters in Arlington.
HIAS in Silver Spring works with affiliate organizations to aid refugees abroad. You can donate directly to their website.
The International Rescue Committee has resettled thousands of refugees in the SIV program for over 15 years. Right now they're requesting donations to their Welcome to Maryland Fund to help resettle families in the state. Unfortunately, in-person donations have been suspended due to COVID-19, but they have an Amazon wishlist asking for home supplies and grocery store gift cards.
Meanwhile, local leaders have voiced support for incoming refugees, assuring the states of Maryland, Virginia, and DC will be sanctuaries for those fleeing violence.
"Many of these Afghan citizens, our allies, bravely risked their lives to provide invaluable support for many years to our efforts as interpreters and support staff," Hogan said in a recent video address. "We have a moral obligation to help them."
Are there other nonprofits you know of who need help? Please share in the comments.