<article class="content"> <p><strong><em>Updated September 1st, 2021</em></strong></p> <p>On September 1st, 2021, we gathered over 120 of our community members for a virtual town hall to provide updates on our response to the recent developments in Afghanistan, our next steps forward, and ways our community can support our Afghan neighbors.</p> <p><strong>Watch a full recording of our Town Hall below.</strong></p> <iframe width="100%" style="aspect-ratio: 16 / 9" class="margin-medium margin-vertical" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EKOkMKpTSFQ" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; fullscreen"></iframe> <hr> <p><strong><em>Updated August 27th, 2021</em></strong></p> <p>On behalf of all of us at Hello Neighbor, we mourn the American and Afghan victims of the senseless and horrible attack yesterday at Kabul airport. We send our deepest prayers to our Afghan neighbors here in Pittsburgh and around the world during this time of loss and feeling of hopelessness. We are here for you today, tomorrow, and always.</p> <hr> <p><strong><em>Updated August 26th, 2021</em></strong></p> <p>Learn how Hello Neighbor and the Hello Neighbor Network are jumping into action to support our Afghan neighbors.</p> <p><a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/grassroots-nonprofits-mobilize-for-afghans">Grassroots Nonprofits Mobilize for Afghans</a>.</p> <hr> <p><strong><em>Updated August 25th, 2021</em></strong></p> <p>Read below to learn about Hello Neighbor’s response to the crisis in Afghanistan so far, and <a href="https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qf-urqTssHtTU2jTX2aqZKm19NGckihz9">join us for a virtual town hall</a> on <strong>Wednesday</strong>, <strong>September 1 at 12pm</strong> to learn more about our next steps.</p> <p>Dear Neighbors,</p> <p>This is a dark and unprecedented time for our local Afghan neighbors, the global Afghan community, those currently in Afghanistan and for our Veterans and Armed Forces who fought so hard on their behalf.</p> <p>First, we wish to send our love and solidarity to our Afghan neighbors here in Pittsburgh, to Afghans everywhere and to those in Afghanistan. When you hurt, we hurt. If you need someone to talk to, if you need a friend, we’re here for you.</p> <p>I’d like to talk about what we are doing at Hello Neighbor, what you all can do and also some real talk about the things we really can’t do.</p> <h2>1: We gather.</h2> <p>We instantly reached out to all of our Afghan neighbors and we continue to do so. We brought together 60+ Afghan this weekend - moms, dads, kids - to our office. We had food and space and also took information on their families and loved ones that are trying to leave Afghanistan. We welcomed other community leaders and resettlement agencies as well. We can not make any promises on those requests, but we were able to share the most up-to-date information we have. We prayed together. The kids laughed and played. We cried. It was incredibly special and important.</p> <h2>2: We support.</h2> <p>You can <a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/get-involved">sign up to volunteer</a> or <a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/donate">make a donation</a> to support our efforts for both our current Afghan community and help us plan for new arrivals. This could also include donations for mealtrains and other emergency support and direct service needs we do in the community.</p> <h2>3: We listen.</h2> <p>We are very intentionally centering our response from within the Afghan community. That is tied to our <a href="https://www.helloneighbor.io/about/what-we-do">first core value</a> and part of who we have always been. They want their stories told and that includes advocating to elected officials and doing everything we can to not let this drop within a news cycle.</p> <p>At this time, we have not heard about an influx of new arrivals. That could change. We also are on a lot of emergency calls (local, state, national) both because of our Pittsburgh program and our national work. It’s an interesting and complex situation resettlement agencies and support organizations will face as Afghans arrive. This will be a long road and there is no overnight solution. Let’s take our collective energy and keep the momentum. We will need each and every one you.</p> <p>Last, secondary trauma is real. We face it as a staff. Mentors and volunteers we know you encounter this. Our Afghan neighbors here are traumatized by what they are hearing is happening. We know many of you feel helpless. We will do what we can to give you accurate information, ways to help, and continue to be your trusted resource.</p> <p><strong>An Afghan mom said this to me and allowed me to share it:</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>“Thank you Hello Neighbor. It means so much for you and your colleagues to care about us. To understand the Taliban are not Muslim. They have no religion. Their faces, it is only hate. We Muslims are peaceful. Thank you for caring about us. We are so lucky. Bless you all.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Please join us for a virtual town hall on <strong>Wednesday</strong>, <strong>September 1 at 12pm</strong>. We will be providing updates on our response to the recent developments in Afghanistan, our next steps forward, and ways you can support our Afghan neighbors.</p> <p style="padding-top:0.6em;"><a href="https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qf-urqTssHtTU2jTX2aqZKm19NGckihz9" class="button">Register For Our Town Hall</a></p> <p>In solidarity,</p> <p>Sloane and the Hello Neighbor Team</p> <hr> <p><strong><em>Updated August 21st, 2021</em></strong></p> <p>On Saturday, we brought together 60+ members of our Afghan community - moms, dads and children - to gather at our office and create space to listen, support and share in community.</p> <p>We had lunch catered by one of our Afghan community members and restaurant owners. We took information on the families and loved ones of our community who are trying to leave Afghanistan and were joined by other community leaders and resettlement agencies as well.</p> <p>We prayed together. We cried. The kids laughed and played. It was an incredibly special and important experience for everyone present. The most crucial thing we can do right now is be here for one another. To our Afghan neighbors here and around the world, our hearts are with you and we are here for you today, tomorrow, and always.</p>
Hello Neighbor at Afghan Support Center
Hello Neighbor was proud to be part of the Afghan Support Center event hosted by USCIS in Pittsburgh.