How YOU can help the refugees from Afghanistan

Photo Credit: Jose Luis Magana/AP. Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, VA Aug 27, 2021

 

The withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is complete. The mission of Catholic Charities Atlanta (CCA) to help the evacuated families of those who have supported America’s efforts in Afghanistan over the past 20 years is now underway.

“Rebuilding your life is not easy,” Vanessa Russell, CEO of Catholic Charities Atlanta stated. “These courageous families escaped with just what they could carry. They are brave, resilient, and optimistic about their future. We will welcome these families with a grateful heart and help them integrate and thrive in their new home here in Atlanta.”

About the Afghan Special Visa program

Nasra Yonis, Refugee Youth Education Coord., at After School Program event.

The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program was created by Congress to provide permanent protection to Afghans affiliated with U.S. missions such as translators and interpreters. Those eligible can apply for a visa for themselves, as well as for their spouse and any unmarried children under 21.  Special Immigrant Visa’s take approximately 13 months to obtain and include security checks.

Evacuees from Afghanistan who have successfully completed the Visa process are eligible for resettlement into the United States as refugees. Organizations like Catholic Charities Atlanta are responsible for welcoming these families and ensuring their success in their new home country. The number of individuals who will be accepted into the U.S. under this program is determined by the President of the United States.

 

 

HERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN HELP

 

(1) DONATE NOW BY CLICKING HERE. 

At this time, the best way to assist is through funding our Refugee Resettlement Services Program. We need more funds to pay for hotels and airbnbs for short-term housing while apartments are found and set up. The current housing crisis has added to our struggle in finding long-term, stable housing for these families and therefore we are even more reliant on temporary housing.

Donate to help refugees in Afghanistan

You have the option to make a one-time donation or a recurring gift.

Your donation will already be designated for the “Afghanistan Refugee Resettlement Services” and you can add an additional comment further explaining your request.

 

(2) PURCHASE ESSENTIAL ITEMS FOR REFUGEE FAMILIES BY CLICKING HERE.

We have created an Amazon Wish List full of items specifically for the Afghan refugees. This includes: Mattress covers, car seats, first aid kits, cleaning supplies, games for families, backpacks for children, and more.

When checking out, ship to “Ashlin Nebrig’s Gift Registry Address”. This will appear under “Other addresses” when checking out.

 

Amazon Wish List for Afghan Refugees

Here are just a few of the items refugee families need.

This list can be used as a guide for purchasing items to donate from other stores such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, or Macy’s, which may have similar or equivalent items. Please send these items to Ashlin Nebrig at 2305 Parklake DR NE building 9 suite 150, Atlanta, GA 30345.

Alternatively, a Welcome Home Basket can be prepared for arriving Afghan families. For questions or to schedule the drop off, please contact Ashlin Nebrig at anebrig@ccatlanta.org

 

(3) DONATE VERY GENTLY USED FURNITURE

For a comprehensive list of accepted donation items, click here. You can also email Ashlin Nebrig at: anebrig@ccatlanta.org with a description of the item you wish to donate. Pictures are helpful for determining if we can accept an item.

We take gently used furniture including:
– Full or twin sized bed frames
– Small or medium dressers or chests or drawers
– Small to medium sofas and couches

We will arrange a pick up or drop off time with you either at your home or at our warehouse. Pickup times may not be as flexible as usual due to the busy schedules of the staff. Our staff who pick up donations are very busy making sure that everything needed is in place for the arriving refugees.

(4) REFUGEE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

One of the goals of Refugee Services is to help refugee parents and youth navigate American schools and help parents become more involved in their children’s education. Services are focused on newly arrived refugee parents and school-aged youth:

    • Refugee Youth Mentoring Program: Mentors are matched one-to-one with refugee youth between the ages of 9 and 17 of all nationalities. Mentors will act as self-esteem boosters, tutors, role-models, and friends and assist and encourage refugee youth as they develop their skills and talents. We are specifically looking for male mentors. If you are interested in being a youth mentor, email Taylor Smith at tsmith@ccatlanta.org or click here to learn more.
      COMMITMENT: Willing to meet with mentee weekly for two hours per week for one year, typically in or near Clarkston, GA. This opportunity is a 12 month commitment based on start date. Virtual meetings are suggested for safety concerns at this time.
    • After School Program Tutor: The afterschool program is designed to provide academic support as well as social and emotional support to thirty refugee students identified by the school as requiring additional support to succeed in the academic environment. In addition to Refugee Services team members, community volunteers also support the program. If you are interested in becoming a tutor, email Taylor Smith at tsmith@ccatlanta.org or click here to learn more.
      COMMITMENT: At least one day per week: a “day” being Monday through Thursday from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM. This opportunity is broken down into two semesters: October – December and January – May. This is currently a virtual opportunity until the further notice.

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

If you are trying to contact or help someone still in Afghanistan, see the resources below.

 

Catholic Charities Atlanta does not process overseas applications for resettlement; our assistance begins once refugees have arrived in Atlanta. However, we have collected the following information that may be helpful to those looking for resources on family reunification.

Georgians can contact the offices of Senator Jon Ossoff or Raphael Warnock for information about family members or friends in Afghanistan. Please have as much of the following information ready to share:

  • Full names of all the people
  • Dates of birth
  • Legal Status (US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident)
  • Passport number and Country
  • Local contact for the embassy in Kabul to use (phone and/or email)
  • Back up contact information
  • Are there any pending visa cases or petitions filed on their behalf
  • Any additional important information

Email Address: afg-evac@ossoff.senate.gov

Phone Numbers:
– Jon Ossoff, (202) 224-3521
– Raphael Warnock, (202) 224-3643

Example phone message:
“I’m calling because I have family in Afghanistan and they need to leave because they are not safe. I need to talk with someone in your office who can help me. My name is _______, my phone number is ______, and my family (ex: worked as translators).

Senator Tom Cotton (Arkansas) has also released the following statement with contact information:
“If you’re an American stranded in Afghanistan, or know one who is, please contact my office immediately at: (501) 223-9081 or evac@cotton.senate.gov . The situation is dire, but we’ll do everything in our power to help keep you informed and to help get you out.”

 

Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans:

Also See: How To Get a Visa

 

Afghanistan Evacuation Resource Page:

 

Resources for Afghans:

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