WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - In the wake of the departure of U.S. troops and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, thousands of Afghan refugees are arriving in the D.C area and a number of local nonprofits and organizations are now stepping in to help them start a new life.
Toiletries, bags of clothes and non-perishable food are some of the items the Afghanistan Youth Relief Foundation and other local nonprofits are collecting at 4425 Brookfield Corporate Drive, Suite 600, in Chantilly, Virginia (across the street from the Dulles Expo Center) to help Afghan refugees get back on their feet.
"We want them to have a fresh start, we want the transition to be as easy as possible because everyone has mixed emotions right now," said Hanna Karimi, Donation Coordinator.
Another couple, Nisar Yusufi and Mallory Chapin, just started a Virginia-based nonprofit organization called Baba Ku Foundations to support Afghan refugees with needs like relocation placement to medical aid.
Yusufi and his family are personally tied to the tragedy unfolding in front of us all.
"It has been very heartbreaking speaking to my family members back home and the hopelessness they feel about the current state of the country," said Yusufi.
Many Afghans worked alongside the American military, government and other groups to help defeat the Taliban. That work has put so many of them at great risk now that the United States is withdrawing.
"I feel like they deserve to have a life in America. They did all they could for us and now we must do what we can to help them," said Yusufi.
That’s why Baba Ku Foundations is working with another organization of veterans who are being brave – making trips to save these people. The name could not be released due to safety concerns.
"These are real people’s lives, these are real people’s family members, their lives matter, they count. We just had a brother-in-law get extracted two nights ago and he is in the air somewhere, he’s safe and it works, these missions work and they’re saving real people and the money will go towards something bigger than yourself."
To find ways to help near where you live, click here.