Here to Help: How Pittsburghers Can Support Afghan Refugees

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Pittsburgh is welcoming families and individuals who have fled the recent political upheaval in Afghanistan. Navigating a new country while still experiencing the trauma of a rapid and unsure departure can be overwhelming. Our city is home to a network of organizations designed to provide immediate and long-term aid as well as connect people to the resources and guidance necessary to help them thrive.

If you are wondering how to help, where to donate or volunteer, or want to know more about the complex challenges that families are facing, please explore the following information, which includes international, statewide, and local organizations that support the success of new Pittsburghers.

Local and State Resources (the following list is provided in alphabetical order): 

  • Hello Neighbor – Nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania committed to supporting our newest neighbors, recently resettled refugee and immigrant families. Read their blog to learn more about ways that they are supporting our Afghan neighbors.
  • JFCS Refugee & Immigrant Services – Offers housing, food, and clothing to arriving Afghans, and will act quickly to tend to their mental health needs as they cope with the crisis still unfolding in their home country, as well as the challenges of starting a new life in Pittsburgh.
  • PA Department of Human Services Refugee Service Contractors – A list of statewide assistance providers who officially contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania – Online fundraiser to welcome Afghan SIV refugees to their new lives in Pittsburgh.
  • University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Governance and Markets (CGM) – Helping those in Afghanistan who have worked with US organizations in the past apply for a P-2 visa. They ask that if you are an Afghan, you fill out this form.

National and International Resources (the following list is provided in alphabetical order): 

  • The Children of War – Provides schools and job training programs for elementary boys and girls, widows, and the disabled of Afghanistan. Click here to learn how to donate directly to their crisis fund.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross – Find out how to support its efforts to help those injured in Afghanistan.
  • International Rescue Committee – This organization has been working in Afghanistan for more than 30 years and remain dedicated to supporting people caught in this dire crisis.
  • Komak Rassan – Delivers direct aid to Afghan families, particularly the displaced families currently in Kabul.
  • Miles4Migrants – Miles4Migrants uses donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, and cash to help people impacted by war, persecution, or disaster reunite with loved ones and start new beginnings in safe homes.
  • The UN Refugee Agency – Expedites humanitarian aid during refugee crises and leads efforts to save lives and relieve suffering.
  • Women for Women International – Find out how to support efforts to help Afghan women.

A full list of charities and organizations can be found here.

Civic Engagement – Ways to Contact Your Representatives 

  • Text “CRISIS” to 52886 to send a letter about the situation in Afghanistan to your local and state representatives.
  • Email your local, state, and federal representatives. A collaborative Google Doc was established which provides letter templates, phone scripts and ways to find your representatives here.
  • You can submit a virtual letter to the White House, Senators and Representatives using this form. This call to elected officials seeks to provide urgent humanitarian protections, including evacuation for those who have put their lives on the line for our country and expansion and expedited access to the U.S. resettlement program for Afghan refugees.

CLP staff are here to help with your literacy and learning needs. See the Recommended Library Content below for book titles on this subject, and visit our CLP – Virtual page to explore virtual resources, services and programs.

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