North Texas Daily

Local non-profit organizations seek donations for Afghan refugees

Local non-profit organizations seek donations for Afghan refugees

Local non-profit organizations seek donations for Afghan refugees
September 10
10:00 2021

Thousands of Afghan refugees have arrived in the U.S. after the Taliban took control of Kabul, with more expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

The Refugee Services of Texas, the largest refugee resettlement agency in the state, is helping guide Afghan refugees as they settle into emergency housing for temporary relocation in North Texas. The non-profit organization resettled 105 refugees in Dallas and 59 in Fort Worth.

As of Sept. 2, the most recent update, 312 Afghans arrived in Texas and the number is expected to grow to 574 total in the coming weeks. Ashley Faye, development director of RST, said the organization has no update of Afghans arriving in Denton.

“Typically, we try to keep clients as close to our service centers as possible,” Faye said. “Denton is pretty far from our Dallas [organization].”

Faye said RST receives a two-week notice before a family comes in, which gives the organization time to set up housing and necessities for the refugees.

Both the Dallas and Fort Worth branches are asking for Walmart gift cards, furniture and money funds through the RST website. The agency has limited volunteer opportunities due to COVID-19, but available opportunities include apartment setups and airport pickups.

“We find emergency housing,” Faye said. “We’ve been working with Airbnb, and just some generous individuals who have opened their homes, some hotels, and that gives them a place to stay for a few days until we can get them into an apartment.”

For Afghans to be permitted into the U.S., a Special Immigrant Visa application is available to those who worked with U.S. armed forces as a translator and interpreter in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“A lot of [Afghans] have served as translators,” Faye said “They could have served as drivers for the U.S. but now they’re being persecuted in their country and their lives are at risk. And so, part of that transaction for them to help us in their venture is for them to be resettled here.”

Afghan Unity DFW, another non-profit organization, accepts donations for refugees. John Nayeb, president of Afghan Unity DFW, said when refugees come in they need a little bit more than what government officials give them, such as backpacks.

Like RST, Afghan Unity is asking for clothes and furniture which can be dropped off at its office location or picked up. Money funds can be donated through the organization’s website.

“We try to reach out to as many new refugees we can,” Nayeb said. “And we deliver food to them, and we’re trying to collect donations like clothing and money because these refugees keep coming, and it’s gonna be in thousands in Texas. We need all the help we can get to help them out.”

Nayeb said all communities are upset with the decision of the U.S. to pull out suddenly of Afghanistan.

“This is this good cause and the Afghan people been suffered a lot over the last 20 years,” Nayeb said.

Media arts freshman Milo Chapman said he does not have funds to donate for Afghan refugees but makes sure to share donations links via social media.

“I think [refugees] should have a safe place to go,” Chapman said. “If [refugees] don’t feel safe in their country, then I believe that we should be able to accommodate them as needed.”

Image source Refugee Services of Texas

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Juan Betancourt

Juan Betancourt

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