Resettling Afghan Refugees: An Updated Message From Our CEO (9/29/2021)
To the LCS Northwest community,
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.
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.
I would like to help. I have sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please let me know.
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.
Debi, it is fine to share the info. Thank you for your support!
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?
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!
I am an Afghan American and can translate /help if needed, so is my wife. Please advise on how we can help.
We greatly appreciate your offer. We’ll be in touch as soon as we have identified our areas of greatest need.
Bmartin44@live.Com available to house one woman for 3-6 months. I will pay all needed expenses
Thank you Billie! If you haven’t aleady done so, please email email@example.com so someone may follow up with you about your generous offer.
Are good quality clothing & shoes needed?? I have quite a lot, due to my daughter’s fast growing teens & the whole family’s recent move to CA & AZ for the kids’ basketball scholarships.
If needed, where in Portland area should I take them. I live 10 blocks from Gresham’s Trinity Lutheran Church.
Thank you for your inquiry. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your offer. Someone will reach out to you.
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.
Thank you, Tony! If you have not yet done so, please email email@example.com to volunteer.
We would like to help the Afghan Refugees
Thank you! If you are interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not yet done so.
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?
Thank you! We have a How You Can Help box on our home page that provides some useful information.
Are congregations of the ELCA being enlisted to resettle Afghan refugees? Thank you.
Dr. Paul A. Wee
8638 Anderson Ct. NE
Lacey, WA 98516
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.
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
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 email@example.com if you are interested in doing this.
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.
Hi Jill: Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with this information. A staff member will respond. Thank you for thinking of us.
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.
Please advice me how to help Afghanistan Refugees Help. I am in Beaverton OR. I have two bedrooms that I can accommodate them.
Hello Sam- If you haven’t aleady done so, please email email@example.com so someone may follow up with you regarding your generous offer.
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.
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.
Thank you Dana! If you haven’t aleady done so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so someone may follow up with you about collecting the completed kits.
Can you please let me know where to drop off the refugee starter kits?
I have e-mailed email@example.com on Aug 26th but have not heard back the drop off locations.
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.
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!
Thank you Jacqui! If you haven’t aleady done so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so someone may follow up with you about collecting the completed kits.
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,
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.
Hello, thank you for doing this. My daughter purchased some of the kits. Where can I drop them off? Thank you!
Thank you Lenore! If you haven’t aleady done so, please email email@example.com so someone may follow up with you to collect the kits.
Our small group at Port Orchard United Methodist Church is interested in helping. Please contact me so we can discuss how we can help.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in doing this.
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!
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.
I emailed your community and would love to volunteer as well.
Thank you for your offer to volunteer! We’ll be in touch as soon as we identify our areas of need.
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.
Thank you! Please email email@example.com with your contact information and someone will reach out to you soon.