PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of people in Afghanistan are being evacuated to the United States in an effort to rescue them from the Taliban after they took over the country in recent weeks. The Philadelphia region is one of the areas welcoming evacuees and officials are asking for the public’s help.
Hundreds of Afghan evacuees landed at Philadelphia International Airport on Saturday and officials expect several hundred more to arrive in the area. There are upward of 75 to 100 agencies taking part in helping resettle the evacuees in an Operation Allies Refuge – PHL.READ MORE: 14-Year-Old Boy Shot Nearly 20 Times, Killed While Waiting For SEPTA Bus In North Philadelphia, Police Say
Refugees are also being taken to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in southern New Jersey, which has a capacity for 3,500 evacuees, according to U.S. Northern Command Commander Gen. Glen VanHerck.
Officials are still searching for help from the public. Volunteers and donations are still needed as more evacuees are expected to arrive in the area.READ MORE: Police Investigating 'Suspicious' Deaths Of 2 Men Found In Box Truck In Northeast Philadelphia
Here are some ways you can help:
Many of the evacuees do not speak English. If you can provide interpretation in Dari, Pashto, Urdu, or Farsi you can volunteer to help translate for them. To volunteer, you must be a member of the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps. Click here to sign up.
- Volunteers can arrange to drive an arriving family from PHL International Airport to their new home.
- Set up homes so that new arrivals have a safe, comfortable place to land.
- Make or donate Afghan meals so officials can provide culturally-appropriate
- Help arrange housing in the Northeast Philadelphia area. Anyone with a landlord or knows someone who has an opening is asked to contact Eduardo Esquivel via email at email@example.com.
To volunteer, visit the Nationalities Service Center website.
- Donations are needed as families are fleeing for their lives and leaving behind the material things that make up a home including toys, furniture, bedding, a favorite set of dishware. Donate to the Nationalities Service Center’s Transforming Welcoming Fund to ensure that all incoming evacuees have a good start at a new life.
- You can also donate household goods or groceries for incoming families.
- Assemble and donate Welcome Kits with toiletries. Email Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate a drop-off.
- An Amazon Wishlist has been created where you can purchase items that will be shipped directly to NSC.
- Any business that is in a position to donate goods, appliances or services, for example, cell phones, housecleaning, laptops, can contact Adi Altman at email@example.com.
Visit the Afghan American Foundation for more information including other organizations seeking help for Afghan evacuees.