Assisting Our New Afghan Neighbors
Thanks to all who generously contributed to last Sunday’s dedicated plate collection to benefit the Emergency Afghan Refugee Fund. Many in our community are deeply concerned about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and several community partners are working in support of Afghan families arriving in our state. If you would still like to add to the contribution from our UUC community, you may donate online by clicking here and listing “2nd Sunday Plate Collection – September” in the memo line. Or, you can send a check to the UUC office and note the same in the memo line.
Here are some additional ways you might get engaged locally:
- Donate household items – If you have furniture, or other household items for Afghan families arriving in the Seattle area, please fill out this form. Muslim Americans of Puget Sound (MAPS), and several local organizations, are collecting furniture and other in-kind goods to support the local resettlement agencies.
- Offer Short-Term Housing with your Airbnb guest space, ADU & MIL – Airbnb has a program that supports you providing short-term housing to Afghan families arriving from various U.S military bases, and then onto their final destinations with our local resettlement agencies. Because of the cost and shortage of housing, the local resettlement agencies will need some stop-gap assistance from families resettling in our community, as temporary housing, while apartments are located. Learn more here.
- Volunteer to help with airport transportation, assembling hygiene kits and other ways – MAPS is coordinating the efforts with the local resettlement agencies. Fill out this form to indicate the way(s) in which you would like to help. Please understand that thousands from the Seattle area have volunteered to help, and that it may take time for agencies to follow-up to the offers from so many.
Opportunities for advocacy:
- Contact the Biden administration & our Washington state legislators – CAIR Washington encourages the U.S. to expand and expedite the processing of refugees, and to negotiate the airport remains open and operational. Click here for more information or to sign up with CAIR.
- Support increased humanitarian aid to Afghanistan – Most Afghanis in need remain there, and the U.S. must be urged to offer humanitarian aid to NGOs continuing their work there. Nearly half of those that remain that remain—more than 18 million people, including nearly 10 million children—urgently need humanitarian assistance with the backdrop of conflict, severe drought, food insecurity and COVID-19. Learn more about pleas from the UN, and join an advocacy campaign by sending an email to President Biden.