Afghanistan: 5 ways you can help

Ongoing evacuations from Afghanistan have begun, and many refugees are expected to arrive in Houston in the coming months. In this ongoing humanitarian crisis, NCF Houston is dedicated to serving the displaced and facilitating assistance between our givers and those in need. Please read below for 5 ways you may encourage relief efforts for refugees. If you are aware of other ways to help, please contact SaraGrace Lee at slee@ncfgiving.com.

1. Give Nationally

The National Christian Foundation has compiled an extensive list of NCF-approved grantees to assist you if you choose to recommend a grant from your fund. Of course, this list is merely for your convenience and by no means exhaustive. The organizations listed here are primarily national organizations distributing funding in a broad geographical area.

2. Give Locally

The Houston Afghan Resettlement Collaborative consists of 4 local groups working directly with the Department of Homeland Security to resettle an estimated 3,000 Afghans in the coming months. The 4 supporting organizations are The Alliance, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, and The YMCA of Greater Houston.
If you are interested in supporting incoming families, you may recommend a grant to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston via your Giving Fund with the note/purpose as Houston Afghan Resettlement Fund. Catholic Charities is the “purse” of the Collaborative, but funds are distributed across all 4 organizations in order to support the families. On the Resettlement Fund’s website, you will find a breakdown for various donation amounts and what they provide for a family. 
Additionally, supplies are needed to stock new homes for refugee families. You can put together a welcome kit for family in need by following the guidelines on the Houston Welcomes Refugees website.

3. Give Professional Assistance

Incoming refugees are operating on a special humanitarian visa and have work authorization but are not eligible for standard government benefits (food stamps, healthcare reimbursements, cash assistance, etc.). As such, a great need exists for legal, medical, and other types of assistance. Many practices are offering pro-bono work for refugee families in accordance with the Houston Afghan Resettlement Collaborative. Others are planning to hire refugees for various positions during their time in Houston. If you are interested in donating your services or time, please contact one or more of the following leaders:
Daniel StoeckerPresident and CEO
The Alliance | dstoecker@thealliancetx.org
Cynthia ColbertPresident and CEO
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston | ccolbert@catholiccharities.org
Martin B. CominskyPresident and CEO
Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston | MCominsky@imgh.org
Stephen IvesPresident and CEO
YMCA of Greater Houston | stephen.ives@ymcahouston.org

4. Give Your Time

Christian nonprofit Houston Welcomes Refugees executive director Hannah Quillin recently told the Houston Chronicle, “We are in desperate need of volunteers and the starting essentials,” noting that volunteers build relationships with incoming families, “showing them how to register for school, taking them to the zoo, showing them what makes Houston so great.”
Consider reaching out to this or other local organizations to make yourself and your family available to welcome a family in need, ensuring our city feels like home.

5. Give Your Prayers

Please join us in praying for the humanitarian crisis at hand. We are praying for safe travels for incoming refugees, and for safety and divine protection for those who are unable to leave Afghanistan. Our prayers go out to the families of those whose lives have been lost or irreparably damaged by acts of violence. We are praying for peace and love in the hearts of those who are tasked with welcoming and assimilating new families to our city, that they may be shining examples of God’s love.