How to Help Afghan Refugees as They Arrive to the DMV

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This has definitely been a heavy week for many of us. The developments all over the world over the past couple of weeks have left me paralyzed and with a sense of hopelessness. I usually wake up, read the news and then listen to a podcast as I get breakfast ready. This week I have been dreading it. As I try to understand the situation in Afghanistan, support refugees and not to mention the victims of the latest earthquake in Haiti.

Out of words and wondering what to do, I started to research ways to help, actionable things that will at least have some impact on someone’s life. Over the past month, Afghan refugees have started to arrive to Fort Lee, just two hours from downtown DC. This means that a lot of them would be moving close to us. I was happy to find a long list of organizations that are getting ready to receive many of the refugee families in the area. There is a mix of organizations to donate money to, groups collecting good for new homes, groups needing volunteers to help them navigate schools, job opportunities and basically anything you can think of as they work on the resettlement of these families.

How to help Afgaan Refugees in DC, MD, VAHow can we help?

The official organizations working with the office of refugee and resettlement (ORR) from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services are a great source to begin with. This organizations work at the national level. They offer a wide range of services to refugees coming from different parts of the world. You can check their website for their latest updates on what they are in need for to respond to this latest crisis:

Help within our community

If you are looking for direct and local action you can check out the following organizations:

More ways to help

There are also some restaurants and organization collecting items in the DMV:

  • Lapin DC and The Berliner are collecting household items and gift cards in their locations.
  • Orange Theory at Georgetown is setting up donation boxes at their location.
  • No One Left Behind is an organization that advocates for families who apply to the Special Immigrant Visa. Your can donate to their efforts and learn more about their advocacy work.

The list of opportunities to help is extensive and the need will be ongoing. The work on helping this families, or long time allies, is just starting. We have a lot of work ahead of us. As we have done over the past years with other events, this is also a moment to reflect and talk about empathy and justice with our kids. We will have new neighbors, classmates and friends who are going to need all of our support and who need a warm welcoming.

How to help Afgan Refugees

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Tatiana was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States at age 15. She moved from Houston to DC in 2007 to work for an international organization. She met her husband at work and married in 2011. She has two children: Santiago (2013) and Antonio (2015) and a Masters degree in Conflict Resoliution. After the birth of her second child, she decided to take time off to stay home and focus on the kids. She is passionate about nutrition, self-led weaning and homemade food. The Story of My Table is her Instagram account and blog where she shares her adventures in the kitchen. She strongly believes that a wine a day keeps the doctor away and that the key to parenting two boys is to keep in good shape. She is not a fan of baking, but would occasionally do it to avoid highly processed food. She is an advocate for natural foods, Montessori education and allowing children to get bored. One day she dreams of building an organization where she can combine her passion for food with peacebuilding.

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