Grassroots Nonprofits Mobilize for Afghans

Learn how Hello Neighbor and the Hello Neighbor Network are jumping into action to support our Afghan neighbors.

August 23, 2021

By now we’ve all seen the photos of the thousands of Afghans who rushed to the Kabul airport as the Taliban violently seized a power vacuum in the country. Many others who were unable to get to the airport, are in imminent danger for their lives. As political pressure and advocacy are applied to the U.S. government, grassroots nonprofits are simultaneously focused on their neighbors and future neighbors.

Many nonprofits in the Hello Neighbor Network, powered by Hello Neighbor, are personally impacted — many have leaders, staff or Afghan refugees in their home community who have family and friends in Afghanistan in danger. And many are advocating for Afghans who were promised Special Immigration Visas (SIVs) for supporting the U.S. government which has put a target on them and their families.

Hello Neighbor is cultivating togetherness during these emotional and unpredictable times through community gatherings. Additionally, we are conducting 1-on-1 outreach to each of our Afghan families, sending notes of love and support via mail, and connecting families with relatives in Afghanistan to critical resources.

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Read more about how our Network members have jumped into action and how you can support their efforts below.


Coordinating Community Sponsorship Teams

Home For Refugees (Los Angeles, CA) is coordinating Community Sponsorship Teams to welcome their new arriving Afghan family allies and fundraising an initial $30,000 to coordinate six sponsorship teams. They will have information sessions on 8/24, 8/25, and 8/26. RSVP by emailing info@hfrusa.org to attend an information session and donate today.


Providing Emotional Wellness for those Affected

Cornerstone Marriage and Family Intervention(Princeton, NJ) has been working with resettlement agencies in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey area to provide emotional wellness programs that are incorporated into the transition process for incoming refugees as well as programs to assist recently resettled refugees who are currently experiencing retraumatization and need a safe space for emotional recovery. Their emotional support program for recently resettled refugee children from Afghanistan begins this week and they are raising funds to ensure that these programs can be facilitated on a wider scale and to cover the costs of personal intervention sessions for the expected refugee clients. Donate to the fundraiser.


Supporting Team Members and New Arrivals

Miry’s List (Los Angeles, CA) is busier than ever and everyone at Miry’s List is heartsick over what is happening in Afghanistan. Several of the team members are from Afghanistan and they themselves came through the refugee admissions program with their families in the last few years. Miry’s List is doing everything they can to support their team members and the families they serve. They have also learned that at least three of their families are currently in Afghanistan — they traveled to visit family during summer break and are now stuck and terrified. Miry’s List is doing everything in their power to help them come home, but this is a living nightmare for so many.

For the Miry’s List team, slowing down is not an option. In the last 7 days, they’ve enrolled 10 new arrival families from Afghanistan, all of whom got to the U.S. in the past few months. Their families have urgent needs, and they expect demand to continue to increase in the coming weeks. They are working very hard to make sure their capacity is open and they have the resources that they need to be here to help the families who will arrive in the months ahead.

Miry’s List urgently needs your help. They launched an Emergency Action Fund for Afghan families and children. These funds will provide supplies, devices, and educational opportunities for families and children resettling in the U.S. from Afghanistan. If you have the ability to give, even a small amount, please make a contribution and know that you are making a huge difference.


Housing for New Arrivals

Welcome Home Jersey City (Jersey City, NJ) signed a lease for a three bedroom apartment last month in preparation for an Afghan family as an immediate place to stay on arrival. Executive Director, Alain Mentha said in The Jersey Journal, “Our number one goal is to make them feel safe and comfortable.” Donate here to support Afghan SIVs.


Mobilizing Donations for Filing Fees

International Neighbors (Charlottesville, VA) is working night and day to get a community member and 13 additional Afghans out of the country. Omar, International Neighbors’ dedicated bus driver, only missed his post to travel to get married last June in Kabul. His wife is still there, as the U.S. requires a form I-130 to be filed post marriage. They had already begun this document with Omar, and now have 13 additional requests. The form fee is $535 per individual. Khatool and a group of local Afghan women have been gathering to discuss ways to offer support to so many loved ones in crisis. Many of their Afghan neighbors are spinning their wheels with worry, and International Neighbors is there to listen and to love the best they can. Donate to their campaign “Allies with Afghans.”


Advocating for Families

Hearts and Homes for Refugees (Westchester, NY) has been working locally and nationally to support Afghan allies. Their local The SIV Assistance Project is at capacity with plans underway to resettle a family of seven in their new home. They arrived in the early waves of SIVs from Kabul. Their teams are firing up and excited to meet this family.

Hearts and Homes has been leading the call for advocacy long before this month and working locally and nationally to activate communities to reach out to their Congress people. They wrote in a recent update, “The U.S. Government has promised Special Immigrant Visas (under the U.S. Refugee Admission Program) to those whose lives are at risk and who have worked at least two years for the U.S. There are between 17,000 and 19,000 applicants and with their immediate families, the number is much higher. The process has been extremely difficult and full of bureaucratic hurdles. Many have waited for years to get theirs approved.” Participate in their call to action to call, email or Tweet President Biden, Congressional Representatives, and others in leadership positions.

Soft Landing Missoula (Missoula, MT) says that while they are not a resettlement agency, they are working furiously with Afghans they know to support them in trying to get at-risk family members processed through the open SIV application process. Their hearts and days have been consumed by this and they need your help in advocating for these families. People in Montana can contact Senator Tester, Senator Daines, and Representative Rosendale and let them know of your interest in America’s commitment to vulnerable SIVs and specifically that getting SIV families with ties to Montana (Missoula is not the only location with ties to SIV cases) is an incredibly urgent matter.

Elena’s Light (New Haven, CT) emerges as a leader in their community as they shared: Many of you have probably heard of what is taking place in Afghanistan, which as of today involves the collapse of the Afghan government. As an organization which primarily serves Afghan refugees, they would be remiss if they did not organize, advocate, and do all that they can to help; applying pressure on our elected officials to accept a greater number of Afghan refugees is absolutely vital. Here are a few resources and ways that you can help: contribute to Afghan charities; donate to a fundraiser to support internally displaced people in Afghanistan, read this Twitter thread of ways to support Afghanistan and Afghan people.

Members across the Hello Neighbor Network are calling on people in the U.S. to be active and helping to direct donations to organizations that need it most.

Getting Partners on Evacuation Lists

Hello Neighbor (Pittsburgh, PA), Dwell Mobile (Mobile, AL), Homes Not Borders (Washington, D.C.) and others work tirelessly to get community members who are in Afghanistan on evacuation lists. They are in conversation with legislators and doing whatever they can to get community members out in time and to safety.

These leaders and their communities across the country are working night and day to impact policy, get Afghans evacuated, support SIV processing, and welcome families into communities in the U.S.

YOU can be a part of their efforts in any number of the ways listed above.

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