As people ask how to help Afghan evacuees, San Antonio and some of its community partners have set up a website with all the relevant information.
As the United States withdrew from Afghanistan, nonprofit organizations like the Center for Refugee Services turned their focus toward assisting people fleeing the country. Around 60,000 evacuees from Afghanistan have arrived in the United States since Aug. 17.
The new website, AfghansinSA.org, was created by the city and organizations including Interfaith San Antonio Alliance, the Center for Refugee Resources, SACRD.org, Catholic Charities, and the San Antonio Food Bank. The website features items needed for donation, ways to volunteer, and legal and advocacy resources for Afghans themselves.
“San Antonio is a compassionate city, and we welcome people the way we would want to be welcomed if the tables were turned,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a statement Friday. “San Antonio is preparing to receive our new Afghan neighbors the way we always prepare — by working together. We have sound and ready refugee service organizations through RAICES, the Center for Refugee Services, and Catholic Charities. With those and as always, there are congregations of faith and nonprofits stepping up to support those services.”
San Antonio has experience with refugee services and already has been assisting a higher-than-usual number of migrants passing through the city this summer, as border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have increased sharply. According to the city’s Department of Human Services, more than 12,000 migrants passed through San Antonio in August alone.
City Manager Erik Walsh thanked the nonprofit and community organizations that are lending their time and energy to help Afghan evacuees and migrants from other countries as well. Rev. Wyndee Holbrook, who serves as executive director of the Interfaith San Antonio Alliance, said the city’s faith community is “eagerly coming together” to help new Afghan arrivals.
“We are a city woven of the threads of many people and faith traditions, all of whom are sacred,” she said in a statement. “The eagerness to serve exhibited by so many diverse people is evidence of the compassionate heart of our beloved city. As community sponsors, we seek to walk alongside these precious families to simply steady their steps on this difficult journey.”
Community members interested in helping Afghan evacuees can visit the Afghans in San Antonio website for more information.