More than 20 U.S. states from the South to the Northeast are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Ida and its sizeable remnants with catastrophic water and wind damage, including significant power outages.
Our church received a communication from the Wisconsin Conference of the UCC, regarding questions of support for the 7,000 Afghan refugees that have arrived at Fort McCoy. Earlier communications indicated that Jewish Social Services and Lutheran Social Services, agencies that would likely be working to resettle these refugees, were asking for patience as they waited to learn more about what would be needed. That is still the case. The Conference did provide more information from Fort McCoy for those looking to help now.
Information is being posted and updated on Fort McCoy’s Facebook page. This is the latest update as of Friday morning:
UPDATED Sept. 1, 2021: Fort McCoy, Wisconsin – There has been an outpouring of support asking for ways to help the Afghan evacuees at Fort McCoy. In response to such requests, we are providing contact information for agencies offering support. The Department of Defense, Task Force McCoy and USAG Fort McCoy do not endorse these organizations or any other non-federal entity.
Team Rubicon, a national non-profit will create the means to harness volunteers and donors into areas that will make the greatest impact. Currently, Team Rubicon is only accepting NEW item donations. Anyone interested in supporting Team Rubicon, should email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request their most recent list of new item needs.
No used items will be accepted by Team Rubicon. Gently used clothing and other items can be donated at a local Goodwill in your region. When items are needed, Team Rubicon or Red Cross will reach out to Goodwill for specific items, which Goodwill sources from their inventory, cleans it and sends to Fort McCoy.
Fort McCoy has more than a dozen nongovernmental organizations combining forces with the Department of State, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Defense, and the State of Wisconsin.
Along with the American Red Cross and Team Rubicon, the International Rescue Committee and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are members of the Fort McCoy interagency team. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse Wisconsin has also launched a local campaign to provide Afghanistan refugee assistance. They are accepting donations at 3710 East Avenue South, La Crosse, WI 54601 and also have a gift registry set up through Amazon Smile and Target where donors can purchase needed items and have them shipped directly to Catholic Charities.
For more information on ways to help, or to make donations visit:
Team Rubicon: https://teamrubiconusa.org
Goodwill Industries International: https://www.goodwill.org/
American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/local/wisconsin.html
International Rescue Committee: https://www.rescue.org/
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: https://www.usccb.org/
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse: https://cclse.org/
We will update information on these and other volunteer and donation opportunities as they become available. Again, thank you for your continued efforts as we band together — military and civilian — to share the hope of a new start to those in need.