Looking for ways to help Afghan refugees? Open Doors for Refugees seeking donations, volunteers

MADISON, Wis. — Several organizations have stepped up to provide help for the influx of Afghan refugees expected to arrive in the coming months.

Open Doors for Refugees is one of the organizations seeking donations and volunteers to aid in its efforts.

“Last Tuesday, we set up our 54th apartment,” said Open Doors for Refugees co-founder Ken Baun.

Baun’s organization started in Madison six years ago during the Syrian refugee crisis. He said right now, with an influx of refugees expected, he could use more of the community’s help to furbish apartments for their arrival.

“They’re exhausted. I think they come in with a tremendous sense of relief that at least this part of their journey is over.”

Baun said any gently used household item is acceptable.

“Armchairs, televisions, nightstands, tv stands. We don’t take beds or bedding,” Baun said. “If we really get the influx of Afghan refugees that we could, we are going to have to really ramp up everything like more pickups because we will be having more apartment set-ups.”

Baun said the organization is in dire need of more volunteers to help pick up donations, drop them off, move furniture into apartments and more.

“We need people to drive people around,” Baun said. “When they get here, they have to go through a lot of appointments for that first month.”

If you would like to donate household items or volunteer your time, you can connect with the organization here.

“Thank god for this community. We live in a community of concerned people who really want to help.”