How can Catholics help the people of Afghanistan?
Help with airport pickups, finding housing, buying necessities, and more!
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” - Matthew 25:35-36
With the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in recent weeks, the United States plans to evacuate tens of thousands of Afghan people trying to flee their country. Many Afghan people have helped the United States as translators and in other ways over the last twenty years, and now they fear retaliation from the Taliban if they remain in their home country. More than 33,000 people have already been evacuated from Afghanistan since July.
Prayer is great, but I’m someone who also likes ways to make a tangible impact when people are in need. So I’ve listed below a number of ways Catholics can assist Afghans coming to the United States, from buying necessities, to helping to find housing, to giving airport rides, to making donations. The Church is often referred to as the largest charitable organization in the world, and Catholic organizations are at the forefront of assisting Afghans in this time. Catholic Charities is one of three resettlement agencies in North Virginia designated by the State Department to receive and place the newly arrived Afghan families, and many other Catholic organizations are offering help. Check them out below, and help if you are able!
If you have other ways to help, please include them in the comments, and I’ll update the list!
Ways you can help directly:
Commonwealth Catholic Charities has wishlists where you can purchase specific items needed by Afghan families. You can also help find rental properties, donate vehicles, and assist in other ways.
If you live in the Seattle/Tacoma, DC/MD/VA, Houston, or Fort Worth areas, then you can volunteer with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to help with airport pickups, meal assistance, mentorship, tutoring, and more.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington is one of three resettlement agencies in Northern Virginia designated by the State Department to receive and place the newly arrived Afghan families who have fled to the U.S. from Afghanistan as Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders. They are taking donations and also looking for volunteers to assist in a number of ways, including teaching English, teaching citizenship interview preparation classes, assisting with naturalization workshops, and by providing office support. They are also looking for individuals and organizations to host donation drives for refugee families, host events to support newcomers, and hire refugees or immigrants.
Ways professionals can help:
Human Rights First is seeking attorneys who can help with pro bono cases for Afghans in need.
Other Catholic organizations taking donations to help Afghan families coming to the United States:
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is helping Afghan refugees with resettling. Donations will help provide food, clothing, shelter, household goods, and more.
Catholic organizations taking donations to help families in Afghanistan:
Catholic Relief Services is taking donations to help families in Afghanistan who are struggling to provide their children with food, clean water, and education.
The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development is taking donations to support local farmers grow crops and set up small businesses, establish groups to teach math and business skills, work with self-help groups to teach business and leadership skills to women, and in a number of other ways.
In addition to the above, if you purchase a paid subscription to this Substack, I’ll make a donation to one of the Catholic organizations listed above. Through the month of September, all profits from subscribers will be donated to Afghan individuals and families.