Supporting Afghan Refugees in Oklahoma
CAIR Oklahoma is working with Catholic Charities Oklahoma City and various other nonprofits throughout through the OKC metropolitan area and state to ensure a welcome and safe transition for Afghan refugees coming in to Oklahoma. We are also offering assistance to Afghan Refugees relocating to Stillwater with the assistance of Oklahoma State University. 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
Arrivals As of 12/28/2021
The latest confirmed reports from Catholic Charities reflect that we are expecting 1,800 Afghan refugees to arrive in Oklahoma which will make us the state with the 3rd highest number of Afghan refugees coming into the United States at this time. Read the following in-depth article from Oklahoma Watch on How Oklahoma is Preparing for Arrival of Afghan Refugees.
Donate to Support Afghan Refugees
All funds received through this campaign will go to directly support Afghan refugees including but not limited to purchasing items for our Refugee Welcome Kits, providing Welcome Meals, and providing free legal service for adjustment of immigration status and filing.
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 will have many, many opportunities to share our Okie spirit with our neighbors, whether it is through your donations of money, clothing, or food; 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 01/14/2022:
- 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 and specific items that are helping us to organize, store, sort, and deliver clothing to our new friends: See our Amazon Wish List: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/MYPXYILYFJS4?ref_=wl_share
- NOTE: as of 01/14/2022 these are the following donated items we are accepting at the CAIR Oklahoma office to assist our new neighbors.
- Children’s winter coats.
- Socks and underwears for both genders and in all sizes (new only please).
- Men’s trousers and pants in all sizes.
- Volunteers: Meeting this enormous need will require many helping hands. We anticipate that we will need volunteers in the following areas:
- Donation sorting and cataloguing: Helping at the CAIR-OK office or Mercy Food Pantry to sort, catalogue, and package donations.
You can sign up for this here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4EA5A82BA2F5C43-sorting
- Transportation: being willing to drive families to and from important appointments or errands.
Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4EA5A82BA2F5C43-cairok
- Other organizations are accepting donations:
- Raindrop Turkish House OKC is accepting bedding and small houseware items on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM. Please contact (405) 888 – 4534 if you have any questions or concerns. Address for drop off: 4444 N. Classen Blvd., OKC, OK 73118.
- The OKC First Church of the Nazarene, located at 4400 NW Expressway will be collecting the following items for donating to the refugees.
1. Maternity clothing, all sizes, (gently used OK) Esp. need loose fitting tops and coats.
2. New maternity underwear
3. New nursing bras
4. Baby wipes
5. Baby diapers in all sizes
6. Diaper bags (gently used OK)
7. Baby bathtubs (gently used OK)
8. Baby formula
There are boxes at the East and West entrances for collecting the items. You may also bring donations to the church Wed.-Fri. 10 am to 3 pm
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 who will come into contact with refugees must go through special training and screening with Catholic Charities.
- 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 vLaizure@cair.com to find out more about the opportunities in these areas.