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Welcoming Afghan families to the Fox Valley

Tami McLaughlin

By Tami McLaughlin, Office Director, World Relief Fox Valley

Imagine being evacuated from the country you love and leaving everything you know behind. Thousands of Afghan families were faced with this situation following the Taliban takeover and are now waiting to be welcomed to a new community.

Afghani families arrive in Northeast Wisconsin

We are one of those communities, as World Relief Fox Valley prepares to welcome up to 200 Afghans in the year ahead. Several families have already arrived and their shy smiles and warm eyes convey an appreciation for the welcome they have received and the opportunity to begin anew.

World Relief is collecting the following donations that will continue our Fox Valley welcome and help our newest neighbors to make a house a home:


  • Gift cards allow families to purchase food and other necessities but also provide them an opportunity to reestablish their own households. Suggested stores and amounts: Walmart and Woodmans, $25 and $50 cards.
  • Kitchen trash cans & liners are necessities that are rarely donated, but needed for every household.
  • New Vacuum Cleaners assist the families in the upkeep of their homes. World Relief wishes to provide one vacuum cleaner per household.
  • General Items: Visit Donate – World Relief for an expanded list of items. This list is regularly updated, so if you don’t go shopping right away, please review the list again.
  • Financial gifts: Help us help them secure safe and affordable housing, pay utility bills to keep warm during the upcoming cold winter months, and subsidize other needs that arise as we welcome new families. You can donate directly here. You can also contact your donor services manager at the Community Foundation.
  • Housing: Are you a landlord who can offer a safe place to rent as a family establishes new roots? Please contact World Relief Fox Valley at 770.377.1850 or [email protected].


Following are dates/times for collection: Please only donate items that are listed in the suggestions above or on the World Relief website.

World Relief: Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Where: World Relief Fox Valley, 510 East Wisconsin Avenue, Appleton.
  • How: Drop off at back door of building.

United Way Fox Cities: Nov. 30, Dec. 1, and Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Where: United Way Fox Cities, 1455 Midway Road, Menasha.
  • How: Drop off at the main entrance (off of the parking lot). Ring doorbell for assistance.

Please know that each and every gift reflects an act of kindness and will show our new community members that the Fox Valley is a place of welcome and a place where hope, healing and restoration occurs.

Learn more:

  • Listen to an interview with Tami McLaughlin, World Relief Fox Valley, and Mary Flynn, Lutheran Social Services, on WHBY’s Fresh Take (starting at 58:30).
  • Attend the upcoming event, the History & Culture of Afghanistan, hosted by Appleton Public Library & supporting partners, on November 6, at 2 p.m. Learn more or register online.
  • Check out the Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Program recommended resources and fact sheet.

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