How to Help Afghan Refugees In NOVA

Annabella Agosto, Feature Editor

Graphic by Kara Lynch.

Taliban seize $12.4 million from former top Afghan officials.
IMF warns of ‘looming humanitarian crisis’ in Afghanistan.
13 US service members killed in Kabul airport explosion, officials say.

What all of these headlines fail to express is the perilous journey to the airport hundreds of Afghans faced, often leaving their belongings, memories, and even members of their family behind for the possibility of safety.

It all began on August 14 after President Joseph Biden ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan with a goal of being fully evacuated by August 31. US analysts had predicted that it would take several weeks for the Taliban to even come close to taking power, when in reality it took only a few short days until the Taliban had full control over the country.

The final plane containing refugees arriving in the US from Kabul reached Dulles International Airport on Friday, August 20. After departing the airport, hundreds of the refugees spent the night at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)’s Annandale’s Campus.

Over 500 cots were set up in the NOVA Ernst Community Cultural center as school employees unloaded trucks full of supplies from local Afghan groups wanting to help. The thousands of refugees not at NOVA stayed at the nearby Dulles Expo Center outside Washington DC. At least 59,000 Afghans are expected to pass through the Dulles space before being transferred to military bases across America.

How You Can Help:

Afghan Youth Relief Foundation:
The Afghan Youth Relief Foundation is collecting donations at 4425 Brookfield Corporate Drive Ste. 600 in Chantilly, Virginia, across from the Dulles Expo Center. Donations should be dropped off at the back of the building and a list of the current needed items can be found on the group’s facebook page: @AYRFoundation

Catholic Charities:
Catholic Charities is an organization helping to find housing for Afghan refugees in Virginia, specifically, Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Sterling and Woodbridge. However besides these efforts, they have an ongoing Amazon wish list that is constantly being updated with new supplies that Afghan families need. Information on all of this can be found on their website at www.ccda.net under Migration and Refugee Services.
There are plenty of other organizations helping in the area as well and you can follow many of them on social media including: @homesnotborders, @lssnca, @lapisdc, and @islamicreliefusa.