Note From Fr. Peter: Less than a mile from Epiphany, hundreds of Afghan refugees are sheltered in the Dulles Expo Center after their traumatic evacuation from Kabul. Many of us have wondered how we can help. I am grateful to Bea Long for stepping up to coordinate an initial project that gives us something concrete we can do right now. In the future, I am hopeful there will be opportunities for us to do more and build relationships in Christ’s name.
As Afghan refugees are resettling in the Northern Virginia area, Epiphany has an opportunity to support their transition, by supporting the resettlement work being carried out by OneHeartDC and Lutheran Social Services.
Many of the Afghan refugees are individuals who worked alongside U.S military and State Department staff during the past nearly 20 years. With the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, these individuals and their families are being targeted for having help US forces and fear for their lives. They helped our troops and now our new neighbors need our help.
How can you help? Prayer and donations.
OneHeartDC has a few resources to support our prayers for refugees and for Afghanista via their website: WITH Afghans – OneHeartDC.
There is urgent need for gift cards to grocery stores and ridesharing platforms, as well as for phones and electronic devices. Phones are essential for refugees to do basic things such as get their children registered for school and contact social service agencies.
We will be collecting donations from the congregation starting this Sunday. See below a list of items you can donate:
Lyft and/or Uber gift cards – $20 gift cards welcome
Gift cards (grocery stores, Visa, etc.) – $20 gift cards welcome
Smart Phones (new or refurbished)
– link to example of $56 phone on Amazon
– link to example of $55 tablet on Amazon
– link to example of laptops under in the $250 $270 range on Amazon
Donations can be dropped off at church at any time during office hours (8:30 – 4:30 Monday – Friday) or on Sunday. Gift cards can be placed in the offering plate on Sunday morning or given directly to Bea Long, who is coordinating this project.
Many of us have seen the horrifying images and heard the heartbreaking stories coming out of Afghanistan. While it is easy to despair in the face of so much suffering, we can help here and now, with donations and prayers. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about additional ways we may be able to support Afghan refugee resettlement efforts, in the weeks and months to comw, please reach out to Bea at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 949.291.7072.