Over the holidays, hundreds of generous Georgians—a combination of individuals and organizations—donated warm winter clothing and blankets, essential household items, children’s toys, and hygiene kits for 25 refugee families the IRC in Atlanta welcomed to a new home in 2020.

Despite continued reductions in refugee admissions—due to both the former administration’s anti-immigrant policies and the COVID-19 pandemic—the IRC in Atlanta still welcomed 229 refugees from 16 countries to rebuild their lives in Georgia in 2020. Through a cross-departmental effort, we combined our annual Holiday Gift Drive and Winter Clothing Drive and—along with extra hygiene supplies to protect against the virus—delivered substantial care packages to some of our newest families, extending a warm welcome during what has been a challenging year for all.

The IRC in Atlanta welcomed 229 refugees from 16 countries to rebuild their lives in Georgia in 2020

IRC supporters from the Tzu Chi Foundation and Dharma Jewel Monastery donated 40 winter coats and dozens of new blankets.
Photo: IRC Atlanta

Our Logistics, Resettlement and Resource Development teams organized and delivered the gifts throughout December and January. Each family care package included around $400 of household goods; a hygiene kit with shampoo, hand sanitizer, masks, soap, toothpaste, and deodorant; winter coats, scarves, hats, and warm blankets; as well as toys, puzzles, and art sets for children. Our clients were blown away by the surprise deliveries and grateful for the generosity of their new neighbors.

IRC supporters Megan Keaveney and Kiara Butler fulfilled a family's Amazon Wishlist along with some friends!
Photo: IRC Atlanta

None of this would be possible without you—our welcoming community! Nine families, two friend groups and nine organizations contributed to this winter welcome effort by fulfilling Amazon Wishlists, organizing winter clothing drives and donating essential items. Thank you to the families who participated and the following organizations: the Rho Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (UUCA), Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Tzu Chi Foundation, Dharma Jewel Monastery, Decatur First United Methodist Church, Eddie Bauer at Sugarloaf Mills Mall, the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Institute and Tucker High School’s STAR (Students Together Assisting Refugees) group. We are so grateful for your support and continued dedication to making #RefugeesWelcome here in Georgia!


Although our staff is working remotely, the IRC in Atlanta continues to collect essential items for the families we serve. If you are an individual, family or group and would like to learn more about starting a donation drive, please contact Refugee Resource Associate, Kevin Lentz, at [email protected]. High-need items we are currently collecting include laundry soap, dryer sheets, new socks, new underwear, shoes, blankets, sheets, rice cookers and umbrellas!

To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at [email protected] or 678-636-8941.

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