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Racine County Veterans Services, in partnership with Team Rubicon, will be accepting donations of clothing and other items for Afghan refugees who are temporarily housed at Fort McCoy in west-central Wisconsin. The drop-off is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Dennis Kornwolf Service Center, 1717 Taylor Ave.
The organizations are particularly interested in donations of new, unopened winter garments such as coats, gloves, hats, caps, scarves, boots, gloves and mittens. All sizes and styles (men, women and children) are welcomed.
“The focus is really on cold-weather clothing. The seasons are changing and they’re going to need it,” said Shawn Rivers, county assistant veterans services officer.
Nearly 13,000 refugees from Afghanistan are staying at Fort McCoy until they can be resettled elsewhere across the country. They are among approximately 53,000 refugees, housed at eight U.S. military bases, who were evacuated in August after their home country fell to the Taliban. Most of the refugees arrived with few personal possessions.
In addition to winter clothing, the veterans’ groups will accept and distribute new clothing, shoes, diapers and personal hygiene items. Saturday’s donation drop-off is the second event being coordinated by Racine County Veterans Services office. The first such event, held in mid-September, filled two vans with donated items.
“From shoes to baby supplies, it just kept coming. We were really happy with the outpouring of support,” Rivers said.
Monetary donations benefiting the refugees are also being accepted here.
About Afghan refugee efforts:
Below is a list of information, donation efforts, needs lists, and more. Learn more about how you can help bring much-needed items to these displaced families.
- Wisconsin Department of Children and Families “How Can I Help?”
- Wisconsin Department of Children and Families “Path to Resettlement”
- Catholic Charities “Afghan Refugee Assistance” links to major retailers’ registries for purchasing items
- Team Rubicon Disaster Response “Donations Intake Form for Afghan Families”
- Team Rubicon Disaster Response Current donation needs list
- American Red Cross “Afghanistan: How the Red Cross and Red Crescent are Helping”