How you can help Afghan refugees arriving soon in Utah

Local News

Afghan refugees wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, board an airplane bound for Portugal at the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Athens, on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. The 41 refugees from Afghanistan were relocated as part of a migrant reunification plan agreed between the two countries. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

(ABC4) – With over 750 Afghan refugees arriving in Utah as early as October, locals can lend a hand by donating health and household necessities to families and individuals in need.

The Catholic Community Services of Utah (CCS) is helping new Afghan refugees in Utah after Salt Lake City was chosen as a city that refugees could settle in. CCS hopes to ease the transition by providing basic essentials to families in need.

“As the situation in Afghanistan continues to develop, Catholic Community Services of Utah is working diligently to prepare for the arrival of those who will be resettled in Utah,” an official says. “The support that CCS has received from the community has been a reminder of our state’s willingness to band together to provide help and create hope for the most vulnerable in our midst.”

All items the organization is seeking can be viewed on their Amazon Wishlist. The items include health and household necessities such as bath towels, bedsheets, dinnerware, baby diapers, detergent, pots and pans, baby carriers, and more.

Salt Lake City was chosen as a resettlement city, alongside other American cities, due to its reasonable cost of living, housing availability, supportive services, and welcoming communities with volunteers and resources.

As the world watched the Taliban take over Afghanistan in late August, many Afghan and international citizens fled the country in fear. Many cities in the United States, along with the world, opened up their countries to accept Afghan refugees in the coming months.

Governor Spencer Cox penned a letter to President Joe Biden in late August to express Utah’s willingness to accept Afghan refugees as well. In September, Gov. Cox announced over 750 Afghan refugees will be calling Utah their new home, with the first group arriving as early as October. 

Officials say that number could change in the future and is in addition to the state’s plan to resettle other refugees over the coming years.

Two resettlement agencies in Utah – the International Rescue Committee and Catholic Community Services – will manage the resettlement of all refugees coming to the Beehive State. Donations and volunteers are welcome for both agencies.

Currently, most of these Afghan refugees are at military bases across the U.S. Federal authorities say they have received security screenings, medical evaluations, and vaccinations. Refugees are expected to begin traveling to other states, including Utah, after Oct. 1. 

Arrivals are expected to be spread out over a number of months.

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