As Fort McCoy continues to receive Afghan refugees, many people have wondered how they can help. It appears 1300 Afghans have already arrived at Ft. McCoy, with many others coming this way very soon. This guide is what I know so far about ways we can help. I will update this list as new information becomes available:
The Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse is the best place for up to date information. Their website is: https://cclse.org/afghanistan-refugee-assistance.
The Catholic Charities have set up the following links to help raise money and materials. Donated items will be necessary in the future, but, right now, the Red Cross is only accepting new items.
Money is especially needed, but other items in high demand are Underwear (women & children), Socks (women & children), Sweatpants (men, women, & children), Prayer mats (can be yoga mats), Ponchos, Clothespins, Diapers, Backpacks for Children, Flashlights and Baby onesies and sleepers.
Othman bin Affran Mosque
Othman bin Affran is a mosque in Onalaska, and they are accepting financial contributions to help with the spiritual needs of the incoming Afghans. They will be in need of copies of the Koran and prayer rugs.
Send donations to : Othman bin Affran Mosque. PO Box 275. Onalaska, WI. 54650
Or Venmo: @OBA-Mosque-LaCrosse
Rotary in Wisconsin has established the Wisconsin Afghan Fund. Donations can be sent to Rotary District 6250 Foundation Inc. ℅ Treasurer Val Schroeder. 1723 Chadbourne Ave. Madison, WI. 53726. Indicate on the check the funds are for the Wisconsin Afghan Fund.
Nooneleft.org is a non-profit working to get Afghan allies to safety. You can contribute at their website.
You can sign up with Catholic Charities to volunteer at this link. Right now, they are requesting that volunteers be willing to give at least a week’s work of time, as the background check to get onto Ft. McCoy is extensive.
Ugetconnected.org is a website set up by the La Crosse United Way to find volunteers in the area.
Other information and possible action steps:
City and County Officials in La Crosse, Viroqua and La Crosse County are working on resolutions welcoming Afghans to our community. Please contact your elected officials and ask that they support these resolutions.
This same information in a pdf available here.