Tens of thousands of Afghans were evacuated in August and some of them are just now getting resettled into our local cities. Many of us have wondered, “How can I help?” There is no time like the present to show kindness and generosity to our new neighbors! We’ve put together a list of organizations who are supporting Afghan refugees that you can get involved with. Check them out!
- Refugee Council USA: RCUSA works to promote efforts to protect and welcome refugees, asylees, asylum-seekers, and other forcibly displaced populations. How do they do it? They do this by advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. On this website you can find ways to advocate for, donate to, and volunteer for communities of Afghan refugees in the USA.
- Sponsor Circles: The Sponsor Circle Program allows everyday Americans to take on the responsibility of welcoming an Afghan newcomer to their communities. It was launched in order to ensure that all arriving Afghans receive welcome and support. The Sponsor Circle Program pairs Afghan newcomers with community groups eager to provide support. All you need is at least five adults in your neighborhood to come together and apply as a circle. By applying to serve as a certified sponsor circle, your group commits to providing critical welcome and support to an Afghan newcomer family for a minimum of 90 days. You may commit to supporting a family whom you already know, or a family with whom you will be matched.
- LIRS: LIRS is a resettlement agency that helps connect you to opportunities to help Afghan refugees near you. Similar to Sponsor Circles, you fill out an application and they will help you to find opportunities to support Afghan refugees. You can sign up to foster a child, be an advocate, volunteer your time, make a donation, and more. This is a great resource for you to find opportunities to help!
- International Rescue Committee: This is another great organization that exists to help refugees from all over the world. Similar to LIRS and Sponsor Circles, they will help you to find ways to help Afghan refugees in or near your community. Through IRC you can donate cash, items, volunteer your time, help with interpretation and more. Check out the link to see all the different ways you can get involved!
- Look at your own local organizations in your community: This may seem like an obvious answer, but many of our own communities already have resources in place to help incoming refugees and help local community members get involved! We encourage you to start searching online or at your local city resource center to find a way to plug in locally. There are many inspirational stories like Seattle’s Vietnamese community helping Afghan refugees that display the power of kindness and hospitality in our local communities and neighborhoods.
No matter what the capacity, you can make a difference in the lives of those around you! We hope this list of resources has been helpful to you in finding a way to invest. Whether it be our time, money, materials or whatever else it may be, we have an opportunity to make a difference in our local communities. #teaforthebrave