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Share how you are helping our Afghan allies by using #theyservedwegive on social media platforms.

The greatest need is at Fort Pickett

November is right around the corner, and for most of us, that means Thanksgiving and a time to express gratitude for blessings. November also brings Veteran’s Day. Over the last 20 years, taking opportunities to thank veterans for their service has become commonplace.  

This year, the Virginia United Methodist Refugee Response Team (RRT) would like to invite you to join them in thanking another group for their service to our country. Afghans stood alongside U.S. soldiers as translators, worked on U.S. bases in the country, or served at the U.S. embassy alongside diplomats. In the words of Bishop Sharma Lewis, “Many of them have sacrificed and risked more than most of us will ever be asked to do.”

With the fall of Kabul, many of these Afghan Allies, in great danger due to their service to the United States, made their way out. While some are still at U.S. bases overseas being processed for eventual travel to the United States, many have already arrived, including in Virginia, with little more than the clothes on their back. Veterans were the first to step up to advocate for getting as many of these Afghans safely out and, once here, to ensure their basic needs were met. Other organizations have been contracted by the U.S. government to help in their resettlement and have made public wish lists of urgent needs on Amazon and Target.

The hope of the RRT is that you will join in a Veteran’s Day weekend of shopping for these Afghan Allies and their families. The RRT has tried to make this as simple as possible. For example, by shopping via these pre-populated and continuously updated lists, your gift will be sent directly to the requesting organizationand there is no need to worry if it is a needed item or if the clothing is culturally appropriate. Items on the listed range from $6 to several hundred dollars which the team hopes will make participation feasible for anyone who wants to contribute. 

The goal is to create a huge dent in these lists. Priority needs are those on the Fort Pickett list, particularly culturally sensitive clothing for women, men’s pants in small and medium, underwear, and toiletries, especially for babies. However, each church can make a decision on how they would like to contribute by joining this shopping event.  Please know that all items are necessary to help our new neighbors adjust to their new homes. 

One way to make our Give-Thanks Shopping for Afghan Allies a fun, successful event is to have your church, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, or youth group choose one item on the wish list and pledge to ensure that as many as are needed are purchased.  Remember that folks beyond United Methodists can shop so do share this opportunity and your selected item with friends, family, and neighbors.  We will meet the goal of buying everything our new neighbors need by ensuring the necessary quantity of each item is purchased!

Thank you for showing Christ’s love to those who, like he was, are refugees in a new land. 

Team Rubicon Shopping List

Team Rubicon is an organization of veterans, who are willing to continue their service in response to any disaster. They are one of the leading organizations, supporting the screening process on a U.S. base. VAUMC RRT is in close partnership with Team Rubicon. The shopping list is being shared so your church may invite members to join in this ‘Give-Thanks’ shopping event!

More lists arranged by district can be found below.

If using Amazon, please make sure you check the correct shipping address during checkout so it goes to the agency address.

ALEXANDRIA/ARLINGTON DISTRICTS

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area- https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/WOJPDI5G68MO/ref=smi_ext_lnk_lcl_cl

RICHMOND DISTRICT

International Rescue Committee – Note: you will need to purchase $35 or more to qualify for free shipping https://www.target.com/gift-registry/gift-giver?registryId=7d47ef50-cac0-11eb-aa35-9319ae35f52e&type=CHARITY

ROANOKE DISTRICT

YORK RIVER DISTRICT

Commonwealth Catholic Charities – Ver mi lista en Amazon