Have the happenings in Afghanistan been heartbreaking, and at times, overwhelming for you? (Oof! Us, too.) For several weeks, we’ve been exploring ways we might come together as a community of many – even amidst political and ideological differences – and act with big hearts and open arms of love. We’re so excited to connect and fundraise with a nonprofit organization who is scaling up to welcome more families than they can serve alone.

Our fundraising goal of $10,000
will care for the needs of a newly arriving Afghan refugee family
in collaboration with Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountain

who was evacuated as part of Operation Allies Refuge.

 

[ DONATE ]

 

What we LOVE about this is that we have the opportunity to personally connect with the family for whom we’re raising funds. This means that no matter where you live in the world, you can connect with one family of the many thousands who have been impacted by the happenings in Afghanistan.

Let’s CARE, together, for one family from Afghanistan, who have not only lived in and escaped a war zone, but they now need to start over, find jobs, get their kids settled in a new school, and rebuild their community in the United States.

Let’s EXTEND, together, hospitality of spirit and tangibly care for the needs of our sisters and brothers.

Let’s BRIDGE, together, whatever clamors to separate and isolate us with tangible acts and words of love.

 

Nudges for Inspired ACTion

Whether you have 1 minute or 15 minutes to spare, $5 or $5,000 to give, we have some nudges for your thoughtful consideration:

1 minute: DONATE

JOIN our giving community and set up an automated/monthly donation which will be initially applied to this fundraiser AND make your impact effortless and significant throughout the year HERE

– or –

Make a one-time donation HERE

 

2 minutes: SHARE

SHARE this fundraiser with 5 friends … and include why it’s important to you! (Your story and efforts can make a mighty difference!) | Copy, paste, and share the 2 ways to donate above OR share this blog post with your peeps.

Because of the great and urgent need, our fundraising goal is lofty. We cannot do this on our own, but with many (YOU!), this is more than possible.

 

5 minutes: WRITE

WRITE a letter – feel free to include a housewarming gift – of welcome to the family (Mailing address: Seeds of Exchange, 4326 Montview Blvd., Denver, CO, 80207) – or email it.

 

7 minutes: WATCH/LISTEN

WATCH/LISTEN to my 7-minute conversation with Jaime Koehler Blanchard HERE, with LFSRM, who talks about why this fundraiser is urgently needed for the estimated 65,000 Afghan evacuees who are in need of new homes today. Short on time? Watch these 2-minute clips:

2-minute excerpt of the WHY for this fundraiser –  get ready to learn and be inspired:

 

2-minute excerpt about the HOSPITALITY of our Afghan friends …
AND a nudge for each of us to BE hospitable, too:

 

10 minutes: COLLABORATE

COLLABORATE with Seeds to create your own fundraiser for your birthday, with your book club or community group. Your funds will be added to this fundraiser, and YOU will mightily expand the ripple and impact! Email me and I’ll tell ya how it works.

 

15 minutes: EXPLORE 

EXPLORE joining our Denver-based Seeds team to care for the needs of this family as they resettle in Colorado. Head HERE for more information.

 

Fundraising Partnership

We are collaborating with Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains (LFSRM) and all funds raised will go directly to one family through LFSRM.

A bit about LFSRM: In 1975, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) contacted LFSRM to begin resettlement of refugees. Since that time, the LFSRM Refugee and Asylee Programs have helped people who have been uprooted by persecution and violence work towards self-sufficiency through essential resettlement services, including: housing, employment, English language, and cultural orientation.

Our local Colorado Seeds team will also help the family in their resettlement process. For more information and to join our team, head HERE.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Given that “Lutheran” is in the name of the organization, are people of other faiths or creeds excluded?

It is our mission to provide help and support to children and families during their most challenging times regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or age. -LFSRM

When will refugees and Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) from the emergency evacuations be arriving in Colorado? How many people will be coming here?

We don’t know—US-based resettlement agencies such as ourselves are not involved in the evacuation itself, and there are a lot of uncertainties about timing and logistics right now, as you have surely seen in the news. What we do know is that LFSRM and all the other resettlement agencies are preparing for when they do arrive. And Afghan refugees and SIVs have been part of our caseload for years, so we are using that experience to prepare to serve those who are evacuated due to current events as well. -LFSRM

I have a home to rent or am a landlord – how can I help?

If you are a landlord and are interested in renting a unit to a refugee family, please email our Housing Coordinator, Danielle.winter@lfsrm.org. -LFSRM

Why are these funds necessary and why isn’t the US government providing needed funds for these families?

For this to be understood, it is necessary to understand the various visas that were granted to Afghans.

SIVs were available to individuals who worked as translators, interpreters, or other professionals employed by or on behalf of the United States government in Afghanistan. SIV holders receive the same benefits and services as do refugees under the US Refugee Assistance Program (USRAP).

Priority 2 (P2) visas were for Afghans who may be at risk due to their U.S. affiliation but who were not eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) because they did not have qualifying employment, or because they have not met the time-in-service requirement to become eligible. These folks may have been employed by US NGOs, media organizations, human rights groups, or subcontractors of the US government.

Priority 3 (P3) status (or ‘family reunification’ status) was given to spouses, unmarried children under age 21, or parents of individuals already admitted to the United States as refugees or asylees. P3 application processes must be completed outside the country of origin. P3 individuals have access to benefits under the US Refugee Assistance Program (USRAP).

If an individual was not eligible for an SIV, P2 or P3 visas, humanitarian parole was an option to explore for getting to the United States lawfully. Humanitarian parole is a grant of parole justified by a determination that there exist “urgent humanitarian reasons” for an individual to enter the US. While the normal maximum period for is 365 days, the U.S. government announced that Afghans will be eligible for parole for up to two years. Individuals granted humanitarian parole are eligible for work authorization in the United States but are not eligible for refugee resettlement programs or other federal benefits. –Resources for Afghan Allies

Photo by US Marine Corps – Reuters