Supporting Afghan Refugees in Oklahoma
CAIR Oklahoma began, in August 2021, working in partnership with Catholic Charities Oklahoma City, The Sperio Project, Refugee Support Group, the Islamic Society of Greater OKC, and various other nonprofits throughout through the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and state to ensure a welcome and safe transition for Afghan refugees coming in to Oklahoma.
From 2021 – 2022, CAIR Oklahoma has provided our Afghan newcomers with Welcome Kits, Halal Meals, Clothing, Hygiene Items, Qurans, Prayer Rugs, Household Items, Linens, and Winter Clothing. We serve the Afghan community out of our Refugee Resource Center located in the heart of Oklahoma City.
Below please find the latest information along with ways that you can assist in these efforts.
The Latest Information on Afghan Refugees Coming to Oklahoma
Number of Refugees Expected in Oklahoma
Total Number of Arrivals
Oklahoma is the state with the 3rd highest number of Afghan refugees coming into the United States that have been resettled by Catholic Charities with assistance from CAIR Oklahoma, The Spero Project, and many others. Read the following in-depth article from Oklahoma Watch on How Oklahoma is Preparing for Arrival of Afghan Refugees.
Report on Afghan Refugee Resettlement Support
Donate to Support Afghan Refugees
All funds received through this campaign will go to directly support Afghan refugees including, but not limited to, purchasing high-demand items for our Refugee Resource Center and providing free legal services for adjustment of immigration status and filing.
The Oklahoman: Oklahomans come together to help Afghan refugee children with back-to-school needs
KOCO Channel 5: Exactly one year since Oklahoma welcomed hundreds of Afghan families to state
Oklahoma Opens its Arms to Afghan Refugees With Welcome Centre
The Oklahoman: Afghan refugees prepare for their first Oklahoma Ramadan with pop-up bazaar
NONDOC: ‘A historic and monumental undertaking’: Oklahomans mobilize for Afghan refugees
News on 6: CAIR Oklahoma Helps Afghan Refugees Transition To Life In The Sooner State
Oklahoma Watch: Refugees’ Arrival Means Balancing Safety, Resettlement in Oklahoma
Stillwater News Press: Agencies prepare as Afghan refugees start arriving in Oklahoma
Where You Can Help
We have many, many opportunities to share our Okie spirit with our new neighbors, whether it is through your donations of money, clothing, or household goods; your time spent volunteering, or simply by sharing the special skills and resources that you bring to the table.
Below are the main areas where we anticipate needing you the most:
UPDATE as of 8/16/2022:
- Cash donations help us to purchase certain items wholesale. If you would like to donate online, you can click here: https://cairoklahoma-bloom.kindful.com/?campaign=1166983
- We also now have an Amazon wishlist with high demand items that are helping us to organize, store, sort, and provide support to our Afghan neighbors: See our Amazon Wish List: https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/KP4EQG2Q6FEF/ref=smi_ext_lnk_lcl_cl
Please donate the following items to help Afghan neighbors. All pre-used items should be laundered, clean, and in almost-new condition.
- BABY ITEMS
- Clothing, blankets, bibs, etc.
- Strollers, swings, baths, pack and play, etc.
- Traditional/cultural clothing appropriate for our new Afghan neighbors (especially men’s, boys, and girls)
- Shoes (new or gently used), men’s size 10 and smaller; women’s size 9 and smaller; all kids and toddler sizes.
- Long pants, leggings, long-sleeve shirts, and long dresses for women, sizes 4 – 16 and S, M, L, XL, and XXL
- Shampoo for adults and babies
- Razors and shaving cream/gel for men and women
- Toothbrushes are adults and children
- Deodorant for men and women
- Body wash and bar soap
- Liquid laundry detergent
- Liquid dish soap
- HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
- Rugs in all sizes
- Large stove top pressure cooker
- Large crockpot, slow cooker
- Rice maker
- Set of small bowls
- Large serving platter (divided and un-divided)
- Large round pizza pan (for baking flat bread)
- Large stock pot with lid
- Large skillet
- Large tea kettle
- Extra large mixing bowls (restaurant size for mixing bread)
- Volunteers: Meeting this enormous need will require many helping hands. We anticipate that we will need volunteers in the following areas:
- Donation sorting, organizing, and filling clothes requests for Afghan families.
You can sign up for this here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4EA5A82BA2F5C43-sorting
- Transportation: sign up to deliver clothing, food, and other items to our Afghan neighbors.
Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4EA5A82BA2F5C43-cairok
Other Ways to Help Our New Friends and Neighbors:
- Spread the word: Share these opportunities and the work and mission of CAIR-Oklahoma with your friends, families and colleagues. You can also share our website, links to donate and volunteer on your social media platforms. Follow CAIR-OK’s Facebook Page and Instagram to stay updated with our projects and our work supporting the arrival of Afghan refugees.
- Use Your Skills: If you are an attorney, doctor, teacher, or have other special skills, please email email@example.com to be connected to other opportunities as we learn how best to meet the needs of our new friends
- Stay informed: Sign up for our emails and weekly newsletter on our website to stay updated and informed about what we’re doing and how we’re supporting our new friends. You can also follow us on social media as we post updates frequently.
Items We Are Collecting (Donations can be dropped off at the CAIR-OK Office on Mondays through Thursdays between the hours of 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM, or by other appointment. Email vLaizure@cair.com for more information:
- Phones, tablets – gently used or new
- Calling cards
- Adult Clothing
- Women – focus on long skirts, long loose trousers, long-sleeved blouses, long dresses, scarves
- Men – Long trousers, shirts, jackets, socks, underclothes
- PPE – face masks, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and spray, hand soap
- Hygiene Products
- Menstrual products, especially pads
- Shower/bath products
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste
- Clean, new underclothes
- Baby Products
- Children’s Goods
- Toys, gently used
- Winter gear – adults and children (Beginning in October)
Some things to note about volunteering:
- All volunteers will be given special training at their first volunteer shift.
- ALL volunteers MUST be vaccinated and MAY be required to follow COVID protocols regardless of vaccination status.
If you are in the following fields, you may be uniquely equipped to provide vital services to our new friends:
- Medical – doctors, nurses, clinicians, particularly those who serve uninsured patients
- Legal – lawyers, law students, legal support or professionals
- Education – teachers, whether active or retired; school administration, and especially those with ESL/ELL training
- Advocacy – particularly in the areas of disability rights, DV/SA protection, and public policy
- Counseling – especially those with culturally relevant background/experiences
- Housing – access to apartments, single-family homes, or duplexes capable of housing families (subsidies and/or other financial assistance may be available)
- Church or Community Center – access to a large space such as a gym or convention hall; use of a bus or van
If this sounds like you, send an email directly to Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the opportunities in these areas.