Local programs helping Afghan refugees | KSTP.com

Local programs helping Afghan refugees

FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2021, file photo, provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, families walk towards their flight during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps via AP, File. FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2021, file photo, provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, families walk towards their flight during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Maddie Swenson
Updated: August 27, 2021 03:49 PM
Created: August 25, 2021 07:39 PM

As of Aug. 17, the Taliban has once again taken over Afghanistan and many Afghans are trying to flee the country to escape the Taliban's harsh rule.

More than 1,000 refugees have already arrived in Wisconsin at Fort McCoy, with thousands more expected to arrive soon.

For anyone looking to help the refugees, there are many local organizations accepting donations. Below is a list of some of those organizations.

International Institute of Minnesota (IIMN): This organization's mission statement is "helping new Americans achieve self-sufficiency and full membership in American Life." IIMN was originally founded in 1919 as part of YWCA of St. Paul. It became an independent organization in 1938, according to its website.

  • Donations go toward new arrival support and financial support of Afghan special visa holders.
  • For a list of other ways to help through this organization, click here. They are not accepting any donations of goods at this time.

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF): DCF is a state government organization that provides and/or oversees "county administration of programs to assist children and families," according to its website.

  • The organization has a list of partners to contact about how you can help. Ways to help include volunteer opportunities, ways to donate, fundraise, advocate and connect.

Arrive Ministries: This organization was founded in 1988 as World Relief Minnesota and was rebranded to Arrive Ministries in 2013, according to its website. Arrive Ministries has helped over 11,000 refugees over time, according to its website.

  • The organization is providing homes, jobs and other items for 35 Afghan refugees by the end of September.
  • The organization has a number of ways you can help, including volunteering and donating household items.

Ariana Bistro: The St. Louis Park restaurant opened in 2013. They serve Afghan and Mediterranean food. According to an Instagram post, the owner's parents came to America from Afghanistan as refugees. They were fleeing the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan.

  • The bistro has put together a GoFundMe page to raise money and has raised over $6,000 so far.

Lift Up: This Minnesota-based nonprofit is starting to fundraise to be able to help the Afghan refugees coming to Minnesota, and 100% of all money raised goes to this project. Their mission is "we make it easy for you to change the world."

  • Lift Up is hoping to raise $50,000 by Oct. 1. The nonprofit will match the first $5,000 raised.
  • The nonprofit is also looking for partners to help them provide the best support to the refugees.

While Fort McCoy is not accepting donations, it named organizations it's accepting donations and volunteers from, including:

  • Red Cross: According to Fort McCoy, there are 50 Red Cross workers at the base. You can donate to help them provide this support here.
  • Team Rubicon: This organization is partnered with the Red Cross to help coordinate volunteers and local donations, according to Fort McCoy. You can learn more about volunteer through Team Rubicon here.
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse, WI: This organization is looking for volunteers to provide aid at Fort McCoy and volunteers with DOJ experience or who are attorneys to help with needed paperwork. The organization also has two registries with items that are needed that you can purchase. They also have a way to donate money, as well. For more information click here.

A group of people organized a rally and vigil for Saturday, Aug. 28 at Loring Park. All are welcome to attend and show support. For more information on the event, click here.


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