Maryland and Virginia are offering their support to Afghan refugees. Below are some resources on how you can help.
In light of the current events, Afghans need help. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam are stepping up and offering that much needed support by announcing that their states are open to receive them.
Governor Hogan announced in a Tweet that Operation Allies Refuge is in action. He said “many of these Afghan citizens, our allies, bravely risked their lives to provide invaluable support, for many years, to our efforts as interpreters and support staff, and we have a moral obligation to help them. For their service, these allies, their immediate families, are eligible to receive special immigrant visas to the United States.”
Maryland is expecting 180 refugees, but as Hogan says, “We stand ready and willing to do even more, it’s the least we can do.”
Today, I am announcing Maryland’s commitment to receive more Afghan interpreters who have contributed to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. Many of these Afghan citizens—our allies—bravely risked their lives to support our efforts, and we have a moral obligation to help them. pic.twitter.com/1B89nxz3Bi
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) August 16, 2021
Governor Ralph Northam, also in a Tweet, expressed his honor “to meet some of the thousands of Afghan citizens and families who have sought refuge at Fort Lee.” Thus, he advocates that Virginia is ready “and willing” to invite refugees to the state, and that “Virginia will continue to serve as safe harbor.”
According to statistics from Virginia’s Refugee Resettlement Program, in the past six years, Virginia has accepted 8,560 refugees from Afghanistan.
Resources to help
Many agencies are calling on people’s generosity for donations to help Afghan immigrants settle in and welcome them into the community, as well as aid them in Afghanistan. Below are a few.
The Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area are making efforts to provide transportation, housing, and other basic needs. Indeed, you can donate furniture, clothes, supplies, anything to help set up families in their new neighborhood when they arrive. Check out this link for more information.
Afghanaid is providing emergency services in Afghanistan. With its headquarters in London, workers at Afghanaid are striving to support local communities by giving them supplies like double layered blankets, kitchen and hygiene kits, and emergency shelter. Click here to find out how you can help.
[Featured image: Shutterstock]