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How to Help Afghan Evacuees in Virginia

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The International Rescue Committee (IRC) seeks your support to respond to the relocation of Afghan nationals to safety in the United States.  In July and August 2021, the U.S. conducted an emergency relocation of Afghan Special Immigrants (ASIs), flying them to a government facility here in Virginia. Staff and volunteers from our offices in Virginia and around the country have played a critical role in welcoming these newcomers and providing ongoing support as they travel to their final destinations across the country.
 
With the situation in Afghanistan rapidly in flux, we are waiting to learn whether and how flights from Kabul can resume.  In the meantime, ASIs who manage to arrange their own travel to the U.S. may still be arriving, and vulnerable Afghans will find new ways to escape to safety. Regardless of their pathway to the U.S., these individuals need urgent support and the IRC remains unwavering in its commitment to serve Afghan arrivals and help them find safety and stability in their homes and communities.   

We need your continued support to ensure the safety and security of arriving families. The largest need is finding housing for Afghan arrivals. Most families will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs before moving into permanent housing, and we have a critical need for funding to secure these temporary accommodations. Funding for permanent housing, such as rental assistance, is also needed to ensure housing stability for arriving individuals and families. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Donate directly to the IRC in Charlottesville or the IRC in Richmond. Funds and in-kind items will benefit Afghan and refugee families. In addition to housing, your generous support will help us increase capacity for Afghan language interpretation, trauma-informed counseling and case management, psychosocial support, family reunification support and cash assistance for basic needs.
  2. Sponsor a family arriving in Central Virginia. Organized groups can partner with the IRC to welcome families; help to find and furnish housing, provide transportation and ESL assistance, and help families connect to community resources as they begin to rebuild their lives.
  3. Volunteer to assist with apartment set-up, transportation and administrative support.
  4. Urge President Biden to act swiftly to protect at-risk Afghans.
  5. Help identify housing. Landlords and leasing agents, if you have a rental property available, near public transportation, especially larger family units of three or more bedrooms, please contact Charlottesville [at] rescue.org or Richmond [at] rescue.org. Additionally, open your guest home or short term rental as a place of refuge for emergency temporary housing with IRC’s partner Airbnb.org’s Open Homes Program.  
  6. Donate gift cards (Kroger, Food Lion, Walmart, Amazon). Gift cards give families who have lost everything agency to purchase the things that would make them feel most at home in our community; the clothes they like to wear, their favorite foods, etc.  This small gesture goes a long way to helping restore people's dignity and sense of self-worth.  We recommend these stores because they are accessible to our families by bus or online. Gift cards can be mailed or dropped off, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm:
    Charlottesville office: 609 E. Market Street, Suite 104, Charlottesville, VA 22902
    Richmond office:1301 N. Hamilton St. Suite 101 Richmond, VA 23230
  7. Drive Refugees Forward. Donate rideshare credits to Uber or Lyft, or learn more about supporting our vehicle donation program.
  8. Shop Richmond's Target Wishlist for home set-up items, and if you're a Target Circle member in Virginia, vote for the IRC to receive funds from Target!
  9. Shop Charlottesville's Amazon Wishlist of most-needed items.

Read More:

Americans Across the Country are Welcoming Afghans

“My life was in danger”: How Afghan allies seek safety in the U.S.

- Two men resettled under the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to support Afghan allies discuss their fears for those left behind.