“Action is the antidote to despair.” – Joan Baez
We know the images and news out of Afghanistan have been overwhelming and, like us, you have probably felt helpless.
Now that evacuations are well underway – more than 70,000 people have been flown out of Kabul as of publication – there are tangible actions we all can take to support the mission. It’s not often we have the opportunity to display our gratitude to folks who literally supported our military mission halfway around the world. But as Afghan allies make their way to safety in the U.S. and abroad, we can do just that.
We have gathered a wide range of organizations, charities, and resources working around the world to support the evacuation efforts and Afghan refugees as they find safety around the world. Of course, we know this is a challenging time for many veterans and military-connected folks, too. We are also sharing a wide range of mental health resources for our community.
Mental Health Resources for the Military-Connected
Member organizations of the White Oak Collaborative, including Secure Families Initiative, collaborated to compile resources supporting the mental health of the veteran and military community.
- Veterans in an immediate crisis, please call 911 or the Veteran Crisis Line at 800-273-8255.
- Caregivers can join the Hidden Heroes Caregiver Community today by registering here. Staff specialists are offering timely support and interventions around these recent events and stand ready to support you.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Survivor Helpline is available 24/7. Call TAPS at 800-959-TAPS (8277) for Gold Star Families.
- The Bush Institute’s Veteran Wellness Alliance can “Check In” people and connect them to the best mental wellness resources. Please Check Yourself In or a friend in need of support if they are struggling.
- Connect to the Wounded Warrior Project Resource Center by calling 888-WWP-ALUM (997.2586) or 904-405-1213.
- Connect with Combined Arms through the Quick Connect Form or call the intake team (888-737-3112) to find the best resources for your unique needs.
- Call or chat/text with someone at Vets4Warriors 855-838-8255.
- Headstrong’s mental health resources stand at the ready to help our military-connected families.
- IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF) is standing by to provide 24/7 peer support and connections to professional resources and assistance for everyone in our community. Call 855-91-RAPID for immediate help.
- At VA VetCenters over 70% of Vet Center staff are Veterans, which can be particularly important during challenging situations like this one. Those looking to seek Vet Center services may call their nearest Vet Center or the Vet Center Call Center at 877-WAR-VETS (927-8387).
- Call or text VA Women Veterans Call Center 855-829-6636 (M-F 8AM-10PM & SAT 8AM-6:30PM ET).
Donate: Military and Veteran-Led Organizations
- Association of Wartime Allies: “The AWA is a nationwide association of individuals who provided support to the U.S. military/government during armed conflicts in their home countries. It also serves an alliance of individual veterans, civilians, and organizations who stand with them. We have helped hundreds of Interpreters through the visa process.”
- No One Left Behind: “Nationwide nonprofit committed to ensuring that America keeps its promise to our allies and their families who risked their lives for our freedom. No One Left Behind is an all-volunteer organization working to support Special Immigrant Visa recipients (SIVs). We do this by providing resources to SIV Ambassadors living in SIV communities throughout the United States.”
- Global Surgical and Medical Support Group Afghanistan Extraction Flights: GSMSG is a medical humanitarian group with a team of former US special operators and medical experts that will medically-evacuate Afghans from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
- 6th Airlift Squadron Booster Club (McGuire AFB): Donations are used to buy supplies for Afghan refugees and crew members, which are flown directly overseas on C-17s. (Pay via Venmo @BullyBeefBoosterClub.)
- Allied Refuge Ramstein Air Base Collection
- Military bases temporarily hosting Afghans need many donations to make the stay more comfortable. We have found the best way to donate items is to coordinate with someone directly at each installation. Reach out to your friends / military network! Local folks can collect money, shop on the economy and donate directly.
Donate: Nonprofit Organizations
- Homes not Borders: “The crisis in Afghanistan has created a surge of refugee, special immigrant visa and asylum seekers who need our immediate support. Your contribution will help to provide household items, including necessities like sheets, cookware and furniture to ensure that families can thrive here.”
- Protect Afghan Women: “Donate to help the evacuation of at-risk women activists, journalists, politicians, peacebuilders, and their families, and provide support so they can be resettled with dignity.”
- Women for Afghan Women: “Over the past few weeks, we have been working relentlessly, 24/7, to keep our clients, staff, and families alive and safe. We are evacuating centers, pausing operations, and continually assessing risks. We are working day and night to provide safe shelter, resources, and aid to keep the thousands of women, children, families, and the staff who are under our care.”
- Spirit of America: “Our Afghanistan Emergency Fund will assist Afghan families transitioning to the United States. Our initial focus is on helping those Afghans, including interpreters and their families, being evacuated by the United States to temporary locations outside Afghanistan.”
- Keeping Our Promise: “Provides comprehensive resettlement assistance to endangered wartime allies who served U.S. interests in conflict and war zones.”
- Relief Without Borders: “Our focus is on communicating shared human experience across cultures through portraits, videos, and stories and engaging people around the world to take part in providing basic goods and necessities to families in need.” In August, all donations are being allocated to provide food, water, and shelter to displaced families from Afghanistan.
- USA for UN Refugee Agency: “Your compassionate support today can help by keeping UNHCR on the ground, providing emergency shelter, lifesaving aid, food, medicine and clean water. But more help is needed as supplies are stretched thin. What’s more, your love and compassion can deliver hope for a brighter future. Your generous gift will have an immediate impact.”
- UNICEF in Afghanistan: “UNICEF works to promote and protect the rights of children and women in Afghanistan. With over 65 years of service, we are one of the longest-serving international organizations in the country.”
- International Rescue Committee: “The IRC warns that increased conflict could spell tragedy for Afghanistan, where 18 million people are already in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The IRC has worked in Afghanistan through three decades of crisis, providing millions of people with shelter, education, clean water, health support and other aid, and we will stay as long as we are needed. Donate now to help us support children and families in Afghanistan and in crisis zones worldwide.”
- Save the Children: “Children in Afghanistan are being killed, injured and forced to flee their homes as violence escalates throughout the country. Save the Children is providing aid to displaced families where we can. We remain committed to protecting children not only in Afghanistan but around the world.”
- Women for Women International: “It is a moment of grim uncertainty for Afghan women. Violence is rising and women are caught in the crossfire.” Emergency gift today provides a lifeline for women in Afghanistan during their time of need.
- Miles for Migrants: “Uses donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, and cash to help people impacted by war, persecution, or disaster reunite with loved ones and start new beginnings in safe homes.”
- Human Rights First: “Please help to save U.S. allies, human rights defenders, and at-risk Afghans, and honor this country’s promise to those whose lives are at risk due to their ties to the United States.”
- Truman Center for National Policy Afghanistan Operations Center: “The Truman Center is uniquely positioned to bring our Afghan partners and allies to safety. Our newly established Operations Center combines the timely and innovative approaches Truman Center is known for with the unparalleled access and expertise of Truman members to deliver real time results that save lives and help America to keep its promise.”
Donate: Faith-Based Nonprofit Organizations
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: “Your gift today to our Neighbors in Need: Afghan Allies Fund will provide food, housing assistance, clothing, and other basic needs for our Afghan friends as they await the official services available to them.”
- We Welcome Refugees: How to Engage the Crisis in Afghanistan.
- The Nazarene Fund: Mission is to “liberate the captive, to free the enslaved, and to rescue, rebuild and restore the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious and ethnic minorities wherever and whenever they are in need.”
- Catholic Charities: Archdioses of Galveston-Houston is helping “Afghan families who served beside American troops as they flee from danger to a new home in Houston.”
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society: HIAS and other humanitarian organizations are calling on President Biden to do more to evacuate people to safety. Here are ways you can help.
- Call Your Member of Congress: Afghanistan Congressional Call Script from Afghans for a Better Tomorrow
- Sign Afghans for a Better Tomorrow Petition: President Biden must support the most vulnerable in Afghanistan and lift refugee caps
- Sign Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Petition: Urge President Biden and Congress to Protect Afghan Allies
- Sign No One Left Behind Petition: Afghan & Iraqi Translators Saved American Lives. Tell Congress to Recognize them as Heroes
- Sign-on Women for Women International Letter: Support Afghan Women
- Human Rights First Social Media Toolkit
- Attend from anywhere! Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area is hosting a Virtual Welcome Afghan Allies Town Hall
- Volunteer with LIRS: “We are calling for volunteers to support incoming Afghan Allies, Special Immigrant Visa holders, who are being evacuated to the United States. Afghan Allies are currently arriving in the Seattle/Tacoma, DC/MD/VA Area, Houston and Fort Worth.
- KAMA DC Support for Afghans: KAMA DC volunteers have compiled a comprehensive list of ways that you can support Afghans arriving in the DMV area.
- Help the Afghans has a variety of volunteer opportunities for folks anywhere, including mission control administrative work, being a foster parent, field volunteers to help with communication and transpiration, and providing housing.
Additional Resources for Afghanistan still trying to evacuate
- White Oak Collaborative Afghanistan Response Resources
- Afghanistan Humanitarian Crisis Resource List from Afghanistan American Foundation
- Human Rights First Resources on the Afghanistan Evacuation
- Afghanistan Evacuation Data Collection: “Use this list to put in information of individuals who are in need of an evacuation out of Kabul. Include as much information as possible. This does not guarantee an evacuation. This list will be delivered to U.S. Government for cross referencing of need.”
- Immigration pathways for Afghans: Non-exhaustive compilation of pathways for migration for Afghans seeking entry into the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
- Up-to-date updates on Kabul airport status