OKLAHOMA CITY — It has been exactly one year since Oklahoma welcomed hundreds of Afghan families to the state.
Monday marks one year since the fall of Kabul. KOCO 5 talked with a local organization about continued efforts to make Oklahoma feel like home.
Toys, shoes and clothes are among the things families may need as they continue to adapt to their new home away from home.
“We’ve received an incredible amount of support from across the community, interfaith groups. We’ve had support from Mosques, from temples, from churches, from people who aren’t affiliated with any worship groups at all,” said Jen Hund, refugee services coordinator at CAIR Oklahoma.
One year later, 1,800 people settled into permanent housing in OKC, finding jobs and children starting their first full school year.
“Now they’re in school, they’re socializing with other kids, they’re learning from other kids and they’re just soaking it all up. There’s been a lot of support, there’s been a lot of community support, there’s been a lot of excitement in making sure these kids have a real future here,” Hund said.
There have been backpack drives.
“Within one week we had seven community and interfaith groups provide us with backpacks and supplies for all 188 kids,” Hund said.
There have been clothing donations.
“It’s clothing that’s very culturally appropriate for the folks who are coming from Afghanistan. It’s not something you’re going to find in a local store,” Hund said.
The Oklahoma community continues to show support for the 1,800 people new to the state.
“It’s more than just giving things. It’s about making people feel welcome, knowing that they belong, and a hello goes a long way toward that. That sense of like the Oklahoma Standard of like stepping up when your neighbor is in need, stepping up and helping, is something that is very alive and well here,” Hund said.
To donate or find other ways to help, you can go here.