December 1, 2021

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Camp Atterbury refugees in Indiana: How you can assistance

4 min read

In the center of an worldwide disaster, Afghan people are locating refuge — and times of consolation — at Camp Atterbury.

Two young boys are found taking part in soccer with a U.S. Military soldier in a the latest photo. A gentleman from Johnson County, exactly where Camp Atterbury is situated, donated different products, including a Quran and soccer balls.

“Welcome!” a be aware on one of the soccer balls said.

The outpouring of assist from Hoosiers has been “mind-boggling,” says Michael Martel, a Marine Corps veteran who is overseeing donations for households at Camp Atterbury. He is the Operations Affiliate for Crew Rubicon, a veteran-led nonprofit serving to with Afghan resettlement efforts across the U.S. 

“The willingness to help — it is really sturdy,” Martel stated. “It really is fantastic to see that. It is really … been a whilst considering that I’ve seen it, you know, on this scale. It truly is been a extended time. So again, Indiana has been excellent.”

Briggs:Indiana need to contend to keep Afghan refugees

The to start with team of evacuees began arriving at Camp Atterbury final 7 days. As a single of eight “Procedure Allies Refuge” sites nationwide, the Indiana base could host up to 5,000 refugees temporarily, as they enter the subsequent chapter of their lives in the United States. Evacuees will be on the website for only a several weeks before permanently resettling across the state.

It can be a difficult journey, Martel states. Some family members occur in with just a solitary established of clothing, he mentioned, or without having any sneakers. 

“Just owning persons appear at it from their point of view,” Martel reported. “If you experienced to get up and just just take what you at this time have now on you and get deposited across the earth where by you may not discuss the language, you have no household, you might be just on your very own, you know — how considerably easier would be if any person just reported, ‘I’m in this article to help’?”

People today within and outside the house of Camp Atterbury have been answering that phone to action. Here are some of the organizations helping Afghan households and here’s how to get involved: 

Crew Rubicon

Crew Rubicon, a nonprofit centered on disaster response, is controlling donations at Camp Atterbury. 

Hoosiers can assist by donating directly to the business, according to the Indiana National Guard. Team Rubicon accepts new items only, together with garments, diapers, blankets, non-battery operated toys and toiletries. 

Linked:Initially group of Afghan refugees arrive at Indiana’s Camp Atterbury

Donations are distributed on a rolling foundation as families get there and keep, according to Martel. When families initial arrive, volunteers try to satisfy their immediate needs 1st and foremost, together with at the very least a person pair of clothing.

Proper now, the crew is performing on the “second” section of donations at Camp Atterbury, hoping to get more clothes and objects these kinds of as crayons and coloring books distributed this week.

American Purple Cross

American Crimson Cross groups are providing goods this sort of as food items, water, toiletries and child treatment merchandise to evacuees throughout the United States. To add financially, visit the Crimson Cross on the internet or call 1-888-684-1441.

The organization is not accumulating donations for Camp Atterbury families. At this time, they do not have “the ability to course of action or distribute donated items for Afghan evacuees,” in accordance to a latest information launch.

The team is presenting assist in other means, as asked for by the Section of Defense. About 125 volunteers are helping onsite at a variety of places nationwide, which includes Camp Atterbury. The Indiana Area of the American Purple Cross has 8 volunteers there, the agency stated Friday. 

Exodus Refugee Immigration

Although evacuees are only housed at Camp Atterbury briefly, businesses like Exodus Refugee Immigration will assist people forever resettle just after they go away Camp Atterbury and other web sites.

“When Exodus is preparing to welcome refugees to our local community, our function will happen as the ‘next step’ right after refugees are processed at navy bases all through the country, like Camp Atterbury,” the group points out on-line.

That future move could suggest culturally correct outfits and housewares to enable families’ new houses feel like house.

“We are going to set up an apartment so like it appears to be like like a spouse and children is living there,” Cole Varga, government director of Exodus Refugee Immigration, beforehand explained to IndyStar. 

The corporation accepts new or gently utilized home goods, IndyGo passes and gift playing cards to certain shops. They do not acknowledge apparel donations.

Natalia E. Contreras contributed to this report.

Make contact with Rashika Jaipuriar at and follow her on Twitter @rashikajpr.

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