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Donated items for Afghan refugees are much-appreciated.
Donated items for Afghan refugees are much-appreciated.

Afghan evacuees need our assistance

Submitted Guest Editorial

Fri, Jan 14th 2022 09:00 am

Submitted by the Rotary Club of Grand Island

Your help is needed to help those who have helped us and are now suffering. The Grand Island Rotary, as well as other organizations in Western New York, is assisting Journey’s End and three other local agencies that are in the process of resettling 335 Afghan refugees. These refugees will be making Buffalo their new home. They will account for more than one third of those coming to New York state in the resettlement of Afghan refugees who were airlifted from Afghanistan in the final days of the war.

Andy Cammarata, from Journey’s End, said these refugees would not be receiving much government assistance in stocking their living spaces with the bare essentials. Therefore, she explained, WNY agencies need to bridge the transition from leaving with the clothing on their backs to setting up homes here, along with funds for legal expenses.

Cammarata requested the Rotary Club of Grand Island join in the effort by collecting items the State Department requires in the “Welcome kit for resettlement” (see list below).

The Rotary Club, on behalf of Journey’s End, is asking Grand Island residents to help in this endeavor by contributing items from the list of items making up the “welcome kit,” which are more specifically set forth in the list as shown herein.

Items can be dropped off at the Grand Island Memorial Library during their operating hours.

You can also donate directly to the resettlement fundraiser (https://www.wnyrac.org).

If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Miller at 716-417-4937 or [email protected]. Or contact Richard Earne at 716-773-6346 or [email protected]. Identify yourself and what you can contribute.

Welcome Kit

Plan on a family of five. Many items can be purchased from a dollar store or Dollar Tree.

On the required list that we must provide by U.S. law:

•Linen and other household supplies:

√ One bath towel and one washcloth per person (new).

√ One set of sheets per bed (single set for children or single adults, or full/queen for two parents – we are in need of more single sets than full/queen sets) (new).

√ Appropriate seasonal blankets, preferably new (used must be clean, gently used, no tears, no pets or smokers) for each bed (light blanket for late spring/summer; comforter for fall/winter, or preferably both).

√ One pillow and pillowcase for each person (pillows need to be new, and pillowcases preferably new – please check for bedbugs).

√ Electric alarm clock can be used as long as it works.

√ Notebook, pens and/or pencils (one new set, and a cheap composition book or legal pad from a dollar store is fine).

√ Two lamps and package of new lightbulbs. Lamps can be used as long as in excellent working condition and no loose parts.

√ Shower Curtain and Shower Liner and hooks (new).

√ Hangers for closet (new).

•Cleaning supplies These should all be new and in original packaging. Dollar stores are great for some of these items, if people don’t have in their pantries at home. Multiples of cleaning items like liquid all-purpose cleaner and dish soap and sponges are most welcome!

√ Dish soap

√ Bathroom/kitchen cleanser (like Comet)

√ Liquid All-Purpose Cleaner like Fabuloso or Lysol

√ Powder laundry detergent

√ Sponges

√ Big package of paper towels

√ Two wastebaskets (one for kitchen, small one for bathroom)

√ Box of big trash bags

√ Broom with dustpan for broom and/or mop with bucket

√ Toilet brush

•Kitchen items Most can be gently used, but need to be clean and not chipped.

√ One place setting of tableware per person (fork, knife and spoon)

√ One place setting of dishes (plate, bowl and coffee/tea cup) per person (these do not have to match as long as they are not chipped)

√ At least one drinking glass per person (no chips and clean – no plastic cups, wine glasses or beer mugs)

√ Pots and pans (at least one sauce pan, frying pan and baking dish – no old Teflon or heavily used or scratched ones – new is very much preferred)

√ Large pot for making soup, stews for bigger family

√ Mixing/serving bowls (no chips, do not have to match)

√ One set of kitchen/cooking utensils (new very much preferred)

√ One set of sharp knives (new)

√ Cutting board

√ Dish towel (new)

√ Two batteries for smoke alarm (new)

√ Scouring pads (new)

√ Can opener, non-electric

Toiletries – These need be in original packaging – and new, and family-size, please. Multiples of toiletries are most welcome!

√ Large package (or more) of toilet paper

√ One bottle shampoo (or more)

√ Two bathroom soaps (one for sink and one for shower), per person

√ Toothpaste

√ One toothbrush per person

√ Hand and body lotion – family size

√ Deodorant (number based on size of family – for example, if there are three, then provide three deodorant sticks)

√ Box of sanitary napkins, for teens and young women (no tampons!)

√ 2 boxes of Kleenex, minimum

√ Basic first aid kit

√ Disposable razors

√ Shaving cream

√ Hand sanitizer/facemasks/disinfectant wipes for kitchen/bathroom (if you can find them!)

•Helpful items – These are not on the required list, but if you have them lying around and are in clean/good/working condition or new, they would be wonderful additions.

√ Small microwave (new is best, but will take used if clean and in good working condition)

√ Extension cord

√ Dictionary

√ Electric fan (if possible, several box fans for bedrooms)

√ City map

√ Extra alarm clock

√ Iron/ironing board

√ Basic toolbox

√ Tea kettle (no instant coffeemakers)

√ Working toaster oven (used and clean is fine)

√ Radio

√ Umbrella(s)

√ Family-sized rice cooker (clean and in excellent condition, if used; all our families use rice in cuisine)

√ Large soup pot

√ Colander/strainer (new)

√ Plastic wrap and foil (new)

Small bins for rice, tea, and sugar (so critters can’t get at them)

√ Grocery gift card to Price Rite, Save A Lot, or Tops (any amount helps!)

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

All items on this list can be dropped off at the Grand Island Memorial Library, c/o GI Rotary.

Thank you for this precious gift to a new refugee family!

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