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Afghan Refugee Crisis | How You Can Help

Carol Walton

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Since their tumultuous departure from Afghanistan, thousands of refugees have been resettling in different areas, including Arizona, Maryland, Virginia, and in and around NYC, while many others are resettling in Canada and the U.K. More than 65,000 refugees are expected to make the U.S. their home by the end of October. 

And as they begin settling into a new life here, these refugees will need assistance with attaining housing, food security, and transportation, to name just a few daily essentials required to thrive. Several groups and organizations are helping with the resettlement and relief efforts, and here’s how you can get involved and support this critical work:

International Refugee Assistance Project, New York, NY 

International Refugee Assistance Project is an NYC-based organization that provides direct legal aid to refugees and displaced individuals. International Refugee Assistance Project has a complied list of legal resources for refugee individuals and families. You can help by sharing the listing with someone who needs help, voicing your support for displaced Afghan people, or by donating.

Women for Women International, Washington, DC 

Women for Women International is a DC-based nonprofit organization that provides economic and social skills training for women survivors of war and civil strife to ensure they move towards stability and active citizenship. You can help provide emergency support for Afghan women by donating to their relief efforts. 

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services is a faith-based organization helping to implement federal programs for refugee and migrant families. Volunteers are needed in a couple of different locations throughout the U.S. to help refugees with services such as airport pickup and apartment set-ups.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Phoenix, Glendale, AZ

The resettlement services offered by International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Phoenix include helping refugees attain medical care, food, housing, and job placement. Volunteers are needed to help set up apartments, outreach to landlords, and van management. 

International Rescue Committee (IRC), Denver, CO 

This IRC branch seeks volunteers to host in-kind donation drives, donate in-kind items, or provide short-term housing for refugees.

Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay, Berkeley, CA 

Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay offers various services, including resettling refugees, providing mental health services to families, immigration legal services, and supporting seniors and Holocaust survivors. Volunteers are needed to assist case managers with signing up refugees for social services benefits, help with registering refugee children for school, and providing English as a second language support.

International Institute of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 

The International Institute of Los Angeles provides social services such as child care and legal services to immigrants, refugees, and survivors of human trafficking. Volunteers are needed for several services, including hosting a refugee in your home, renting a home to a refugee family, or donating.

RAICES, San Antonio, TX

RAICES provides free or low-costing immigration legal services to immigrant and refugee families throughout Texas. They are assisting current or prior RAICES refugee resettlement clients with housing services in the area. RAICES has set up this FAQ and resources page to provide information about legal services, local organization, and state relief efforts, and information regarding items such as obtaining a Special Immigrant Visa. 

UNICEF, Canada

UNICEF fundraises to provide emergency support and relief in crises. You can help by donating to their Afghanistan Emergency Fund to help women and children staying in Afghanistan. The fund will help by providing communities safe water, medical support, protection for children, and support for displaced families. 


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Want to find other ways to help Afghan refugees? Visit our Volunteer+ directory to find local relief initiatives in your area.

Carol Walton

Carol Walton is a community organizer at Idealist. She connects our community of idealists with opportunities to volunteer and take action in their area.