Monday, September 26, 2022

“Very cold”: some Afghans still volunteer at Fort McCoy without winter jackets to fill the gap

“I was just expecting to have a warm coat as well as nice sneakers and thick pants,” said Yusufi, a 23-year-old Afghan woman who asked for her last name to protect family members still in Afghanistan. While she has also received a coat in recent days thanks to outside assistance, Yusufi said she spent weeks outside in clothes no heavier than track shorts and traditional South Asian dresses.

“Most of the time I work in workshops to get legal advice,” she said. “Sometimes I volunteer in front of the clinic. We are outside, so we need warm clothes. “

The shortage of coats is not due to lack of inventory or donations.

Clothes drives

In late September, base officials said they had more than enough winter jackets for everyone after getting dressed under the guidance of Team Rubicon. But since the coat was distributed to over 250 barrack-style apartment buildings at the base, many of them were not suitable for refugees, said John Stullmacher, senior operating partner at Team Rubicon.

Volunteers only learned of the shortage last week, and the Rubicon team has requested 3,000 winter jackets for Wisconsin volunteer organizations active in disaster relief, which will procure coats from partners such as the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Goodwill. Lands’ End. and Saint Vincent de Paul. Community members interested in donating can drop off new or neatly used, freshly washed clothing at Goodwill stores in Southeast Wisconsin, or purchase items from the Amazon Refugee Wishlist, which is updated daily, at go.madison.com/afghan-aid.

Nation World News Desk
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