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. 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

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 in to 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.

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 10/13/2021:

  • Cash donations help us to purchase certain items wholesale. If you would like to donate online, you can click here: https://www.cairoklahoma.com/#donate or via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/914524652783515/
  • We also now have an Amazon wishlist with 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 9/29/2021 we are respectfully asking to pause on the donation of clothing as we work on sorting through what we need! By Oct 18, we should know more and be able to accept your gifts.
    • Baby Related Donations (diapers, wipes, etc.) are being accepted at Mercy Pantry Tuesday and Thursday 10 am to Noon and Saturday Noon to 2 pm.
  • Volunteers: Meeting this enormous need will require many helping hands. We anticipate that we will need volunteers in the following areas:

UPDATE as of 9/23/2021:

Thanks to our stellar volunteers who have been sorting through our generous donations, we have identified a few areas that could use extra support, as well as some new items that can help!

  • There are certain items we need to aide in sorting and organizing clothing donations for Afghan Refugees. See Amazon wish list at the following link to purchase items that will be shipped directly to the CAIR Oklahoma office https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/MYPXYILYFJS4?ref_=wl_share
  • Children’s clothing of all sizes and genders. Clothing should be clean, free from holes and stains, preferably with no logos or characters on them.
  • Unopened packages of underwear, all genders and sizes.
  • Unopened packages or new packs of socks, all genders and sizes.
  • Men’s trousers and pants, including jeans which are free from rips, tears, or other embellishments, and not athletic pants or sweatpants.

Some items of clothing, such as short cutoff shorts, short rompers, crop tops, and miniskirts will not be as useful for this population. While we can certainly donate these items elsewhere, you can help us streamline the process by focusing on long-sleeved blouses and shirts, long and loose-fitting pants and skirts, and clothing free from logos or characters.

We also can accept donations of cleaned laundry baskets in which to pack and deliver clothing and other goods to families.

Keep an eye on our social media pages and on this website for updated information!

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 
    • Diapers 
    • Formula 
    • Clothing 
  • Children’s Goods 
    • Clothing 
    • Toys, gently used 
  • Winter gear – adults and children (Beginning in October) 

Volunteers:

Meeting this enormous need will require many helping hands. We anticipate that we will need volunteers in the following areas:

  • Transportation: being willing to drive families to and from important appointments or errands.
  • Welcome Committees: Meeting families at the airport, greeting them on arrival, and transporting them to their new homes.
  • Donation sorting and cataloguing: Helping at the CAIR-OK office or Mercy Food Pantry to sort, catalogue, and package donations. You will be emailed separately when we are ready to bring you in.

Some things to note about volunteering:

  • All volunteers who will come into contact with refugees must go through a special training and screening with Catholic Charities.
  • ALL volunteers MUST be vaccinated and MAY be required to follow COVID protocols regardless of vaccination status.

Special Projects:

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.

Pin It on Pinterest