What can Kansas Citians do to help Afghan refugees?

Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas

In September, Mayor Lucas tweeted that the first of hundreds of Afghan refugees have been welcomed to Kansas City. Now, three organizations designated by the Department of State are working in Kansas City to resettle Afghan refugees who fled the conflict in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country.

The organizations help refugees feel at home in KC as well as offer housing, employment assistance and ESL classes.

Here are what three local organizations are doing, and how you can help.

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas is a ministry of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas providing resettlement services to Afghan refugees. They have already received 27 evacuees, with an expected 105 to come. The ministry is accepting volunteers and monetary donations, as well as certain items to help furnish homes and provide transportation for refugees. Catholic Charities is accepting anything from towels and hygiene products to bicycles. Find the full list of donatable items here

“On average, we are receiving a two to three day notice of arrivals which makes finding housing a challenge,” says Kasey Featherston, Director of Refugee & Immigration Services. “We have limited free temporary housing available but some evacuees are staying in hotels at their own expense, which comes from their $1,225 per person one-time stipend from the federal government. We are seeking additional financial support to help offset this expense for these families.”

Della Lamb Community Center

Della Lamb Community Center is a non-profit organization in Kansas City, Missouri working to resettle Afghan refugees. The organization is currently accepting around 450 refugees, with the number expected to rise. Della Lamb allows individuals to volunteer or make monetary donations directly to their refugee services or any of their other campaigns. Due to limited storage space, Della Lamb asks that all furniture and houseware donations for refugees be made to Flourish Furnishings

“Our needs vary by the family, but we’d encourage anyone who would like to connect with our volunteer or in-kind giving program to visit our website and add your name to our email list,” says Engagement Director Cori Wallace. “There are many assumptions about what refugees need, and it’s our pleasure to operate transparently and share with Kansas Citians who want to help how they might effectively do that.”

Jewish Vocational Services

Jewish Vocational Services is a non-profit organization in the greater Kansas City metro area working to resettle all refugees, including those from Afghanistan. The organization accepts monetary donations. Kansas Citians can also get involved by joining one of their many volunteer opportunities. Find the volunteer application form here.

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