Resettling Afghan Refugees: A Message From Our CEO

by | Aug 20, 2021 | Refugees & Immigrants | 42 comments

To the LCS Northwest community,

David Duea, President & CEO

In the last two weeks, Lutheran Community Services Northwest has welcomed more than 40 Afghan allies with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). These are Afghan nationals who have worked with the US Armed Forces as translators and interpreters for at least 12 months and have a written recommendation from a commanding officer. We will be welcoming many more in the weeks to come.

Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our new arrivals. Staff are working quickly to surround each arriving family with basic needs like housing, food, clothing, transportation and monetary assistance. 

The Northwest is a welcoming community and we are humbled by the many offers of assistance. We will have volunteer and community engagement opportunities in the near future. To inquire about volunteering or to offer a space for housing refugees, please email siv@lcsnw.org

Right now, the best way to extend a welcome is with a donation. Your gift will help us address the most immediate and basic needs of our new neighbors.

Please go to this donation page for credit cards and select the “I want to give to refugee services” checkbox.

Or, mail your donation to:

LCSNW – Donations Lockbox #1034
PO Box 35146
Seattle, WA 98124-5146
Please write “refugee services” in the memo line.

Thank you for all your work and support to families in need. As we come together around this crisis, I want you all to know that we are all supporting each other during this time, and our staff members — many of whom have family members currently in Afghanistan — are doing everything we can to support these refugees and advocate for safe family reunions. My prayers are for these precious families. At the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters.  

In Health, Justice and Hope,

David

42 Comments

  1. Christine Zomorodian

    I would like to help. I have sent an email to siv@lcsnw.org
    Please let me know.
    Christine
    425.765.5298 c

    • Louise McGrody

      Thank you!

      • Debi Quirk

        Can I use your list of ‘starter kits’ and pass those on to members of my local community who may be willing to fill part of this need. I have also signed up to volunteer where I can once more of our new neighbors arrive.
        Best,
        Debi

        • Louise McGrody

          Debi, it is fine to share the info. Thank you for your support!

          • dana

            Hi Louise,
            I’ve also shared it with my community and have multiple kits to donate. Many of those friends are asking where to drop off and I haven’t heard anything back from the siv email. Any suggestions?

          • katiet

            Thank you for your grace Dana! We have received a tremendous amount of support recently and have had to rapidly expand our team and get them up to speed in order to address the increased need. We’re fervently working our way through the 720+ emails we’ve received already, coordinating with local LCS offices to collect donations, and hope to have action steps for you by early next week. We are truly grateful for your generosity!

          • Piaman Sediq

            I am an Afghan American and can translate /help if needed, so is my wife. Please advise on how we can help.

          • katiet

            We greatly appreciate your offer. We’ll be in touch as soon as we have identified our areas of greatest need.

    • Ms. Billie Martin

      Bmartin44@live.Com available to house one woman for 3-6 months. I will pay all needed expenses

      • katiet

        Thank you Billie! If you haven’t aleady done so, please email siv@lcsnw.org so someone may follow up with you about your generous offer.

  2. Man

    Hello my name is Tony Nguyen, I’m Việtnamese refugees 1975! When I watch TV all chaos it reminded me when I came to United State! I would like to volunteer work to help the refugees.

    • Louise McGrody

      Thank you, Tony! If you have not yet done so, please email siv@lcsnw.org to volunteer.

  3. Katherine Cassady

    We would like to help the Afghan Refugees

    • Louise McGrody

      Thank you! If you are interested in volunteering, please email siv@lcsnw.org if you have not yet done so.

  4. Lori Cummings

    Is there an Amazon wish list of items people can purchase from to assist refugees? Or any list of critical items that can be dropped off?

  5. Louise McGrody

    Thank you! We have a How You Can Help box on our home page that provides some useful information.
    https://lcsnw.org/

  6. Paul Wee

    Are congregations of the ELCA being enlisted to resettle Afghan refugees? Thank you.

    Paul

    Dr. Paul A. Wee
    8638 Anderson Ct. NE
    Lacey, WA 98516
    (703) 447-6762

    • katiet

      Thank you for your interest Paul. We are coordinating with both World Relief and LIRS to support refugees and their unique needs as they come to the PNW. The best way to get involved is to email SIV@lcsnw.org so that we can get in contact with you when we identify needs that the ELCA can help with.

  7. Mary Sidiqi

    Hello
    My name is Mary S
    I am an Afghan/American and live in Salem I just wanted to reach out to and say if you need help please let me know

    • Louise McGrody

      Mary: Thank you for your offer of support! The most effective way to show support at this time is with a donation specified for Refugee Services.We will have need of volunteers and in-kind donations in the near future. Please email siv@lcsnw.org if you are interested in doing this.

  8. Jill

    Hi I have an extra room and bathroom. I am in Tacoma and would love to help.
    I also have clothing and other items that could be donated.
    Please advise.

    • Louise McGrody

      Hi Jill: Please send an email to siv@lcsnw.org with this information. A staff member will respond. Thank you for thinking of us.

  9. Char Davenport

    I emailed that I would take someone in. I’m just wondering about time frame. Do folks go straight into housing, or go to a camp of some kind while they learn a bit about culture, money, language, survival? Just curious. I’m in Tacoma.

    • Sam Kim

      Please advice me how to help Afghanistan Refugees Help. I am in Beaverton OR. I have two bedrooms that I can accommodate them.

      • katiet

        Hello Sam- If you haven’t aleady done so, please email siv@lcsnw.org so someone may follow up with you regarding your generous offer.

    • katiet

      Thank you for your generous offer Char. As you can imagine, there are quite a lot of moving pieces that need to be put in place to prepare to welcome refugees. While we don’t yet have all the details worked out, we are excited to connect with you as soon as we do.

  10. Dana Erickson

    Hi I have multiple friends/coworkers creating the various welcome kits, is there a specific time you need them in by? I also have loads of clothes/jackets I’d love to donate as well if there is need.

    • katiet

      Thank you Dana! If you haven’t aleady done so, please email siv@lcsnw.org so someone may follow up with you about collecting the completed kits.

  11. shine

    Hi,
    Can you please let me know where to drop off the refugee starter kits?
    I have e-mailed siv@lcsnw.org on Aug 26th but have not heard back the drop off locations.
    Thank you,
    Shine

    • katiet

      Thank you Shine! We apologize for the delayed reply. We have had quite a good response to our call for help and are working our way through all of the incoming emails as quickly as possible. We look forward to connecting with you soon to collect those kits.

  12. Jacqui Darroch

    Really appreciate the Refugee Starter Kit information. It’s a great way to provide tangible signs of welcome. Where can/should we deliver these Kits? Thanks for the info and all you folks are doing!

    • katiet

      Thank you Jacqui! If you haven’t aleady done so, please email siv@lcsnw.org so someone may follow up with you about collecting the completed kits.

  13. Brian Meyers

    Sent an email about hosting a refugee couple, but have not heard back from you guys about how to get started. Please email me what the initial steps are. Sincerely,
    Brian

    • katiet

      Thank you Brian! We apologize for the delayed reply. We have had quite a good response to our call for help and are working our way through all of the incoming emails as quickly as possible. We look forward to connecting with you soon regarding your offer.

  14. Lenore M.

    Hello, thank you for doing this. My daughter purchased some of the kits. Where can I drop them off? Thank you!

    • katiet

      Thank you Lenore! If you haven’t aleady done so, please email siv@lcsnw.org so someone may follow up with you to collect the kits.

  15. Ty Cassedy

    Our small group at Port Orchard United Methodist Church is interested in helping. Please contact me so we can discuss how we can help.

    • katiet

      Thank you for your offer of support! The most effective way to show support at this time is with a donation specified for Refugee Services. We will have need of volunteers and in-kind donations in the near future. Please email siv@lcsnw.org if you are interested in doing this.

  16. Darrell Schoen

    I am a retired Lutheran pastor living in Bellingham and may know some people here may be interested in hosting refugees here? When might LCSNW or LIRS be placing refugees in host families here?
    Also, World Relief has a local office here in Bellingham and their director is actively promoting a refugee service program. As soon as our government gives them approval to place refugees here they will begin recruiting such families. Will LCSNW & LIRS partner and work with the local World Relief program in providing refugee services to the maximum number of people in this community? What suggestions do you have for us to work with local World Relief folks? Thanks!

    • katiet

      Thank you for your interest in hosting refugees Darrell. The best way to get involved is to email SIV@lcsnw.org so that we can get in contact with you if we find us needing to host families in Bellingham. We are thrilled that you are also connected with World Relief and LIRS. We are coordinating with both organizations to support refugees and their unique needs as they come to the PNW.

  17. Khaleda A Aqaei

    Hello,
    I emailed your community and would love to volunteer as well.

    • katiet

      Thank you for your offer to volunteer! We’ll be in touch as soon as we identify our areas of need.

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