Resettling Afghan Refugees: An Updated Message From Our CEO (9/29/2021)

by | Sep 29, 2021 | Refugees & Immigrants | 44 comments

To the LCS Northwest community,

David Duea, President & CEO

With an extraordinary wave of refugees from Afghanistan to the United States now underway, LCS Northwest is ramping up services, programs and staffing to meet this historic moment. Thank you for your outpouring of interest in partnering with us to create a circle of welcome, and we appreciate your patience!

In the past year, we’ve resettled more than 80 Afghan allies with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) in the Puget Sound and Portland regions — more than 50 in the past three months alone. In the wake of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, we are planning to assist hundreds more who were desperate to flee their Taliban-controlled country, including many whose immigration status is less secure.

Due to the number of Afghans being vetted and processed, however, the intake is taking longer than we expected. We know that more than 50,000 people are going through this process on American military bases. Once it is completed, refugees will begin arriving in our service areas. We anticipate some arrivals in early October.

Our staff is using this time to line up safe and affordable housing options, employment opportunities, medical care, translators, transportation and more. We are hiring more team members to come alongside these individuals and families upon their arrival.

Meantime, we hosted a Sept. 23 web forum that featured experts sharing the latest information about refugee resettlement and how we are getting ready. Here’s a link to the recording; we hope it addresses at least some of your questions.

We are so thankful for your passion and willingness to serve our new neighbors! We will continue to update you as the process moves forward. Again, thank you for supporting our work at LCS Northwest as we celebrate 100 years of health, justice and hope. 

With gratitude,

David

Find us online at lcsnw.org and at facebook.com/LCSNorthwest


Please consider a cash donation and watch our most recent webinar to learn about the challenging resettlement work ahead.
 

44 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

    Reply
    • Louise McGrody

      Thank you!

      Reply
      • 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

        Reply
        • Louise McGrody

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

          Reply
          • 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

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • Louise McGrody

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

      Reply
  3. Katherine Cassady

    We would like to help the Afghan Refugees

    Reply
    • Louise McGrody

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

      Reply
  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?

    Reply
  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/

    Reply
  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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  14. Lenore M.

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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  17. Khaleda A Aqaei

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

    Reply
    • katiet

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

      Reply
  18. Mary Ellen Estes

    I have several, like new, Jelobia’s (beautiful long Middle Eastern dresses) that I would like to donate to the Afghan women arrivals to the Kitsap County Area. Please advise about whom to contact for pick up or delivery within the County. Thank You.

    Reply
    • katiet

      Thank you! Please email siv@lcsnw.org with your contact information and someone will reach out to you soon.

      Reply

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