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Positively the Heartland: Donations needed for 74 Afghan refugees settling in Omaha this week

Posted at 7:17 AM, Jan 19, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — This week, 74 Afghan refugees will resettle in Omaha. They're part of the approximately 900 who will do so by February's end.

They fled Afghanistan after Kabul fell in August. Since October, Afghans have lived on military bases across the country, and are now preparing to move again to communities they'll call home.

Local agencies including Restoring Dignity, The Furniture Project and Refugee Empowerment Center have worked with federal partners to react to a historic moment, for which the closest parallel local providers draw is Vietnam.

Prior to arriving in Omaha, migrants undergo security vetting, employment document registration, receive medical check-ups and vaccinations. Many of them worked with the United States military in Afghanistan.

Drew Pauly is a volunteer coordinator and specializes in logistics with the Refugee Empowerment Center.

"Finding them housing, finding them jobs, working on budgeting, enrolling kids in school, medical care, all of those things that you would need to get through life on a daily basis is where we step in and then we get them connected with other community resources so that they have that long term integration piece," he explained.

Donations are urgently needed. Items include:

  • Kitchen supplies including plates, cups, bowls, silverware, pots and pans, can openers
  • Twin, full and queen mattresses, box springs, frames and bedding, mattress protectors, new pillows
  • Cribs, diapers (all sizes) and other baby items
  • Bath items including shower curtains, shower liners, towel sets, toilet paper
  • Hygiene products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine pads, shampoo, lotion, deodorant
  • Hangers, organizational products, light bulbs
  • Dressers, couches, kitchen tables and chairs, shoe racks, new car seats, rugs
  • Cleaning supplies including trash bags, paper towels, brooms, dustpans, vacuums

Unable to accept: Clothing, items exposed to bed bugs or smoke, items that are broken or stained.
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