Local charities support Afghan refugees


Media: Asim Mian

The Islamic Society of Chester County has been collecting donations to support Afghan refugees.

After the fall of the Afghan government, refugee flights to the United States began; by the end of August, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that up to 2,386 refugees were arriving in Philadelphia a day. In Pottstown, the Hill School Community Service students are helping local charities meet the needs of refugees. 

Volunteer students from Hobart’s Run, an affiliate of The Hill School, pack and serve meals to Afghan refugees. This process is directed by Community Service Director Cathy Skitko. In this process students are helping the charity runners to pack up food and prepare it to serve. Finally, they place the packages into vans to transport the goods. These packages are served to the refugees who have arrived at the airport, and thus their food needs are met.

In addition, Islamic organizations are also putting their effort in to meet the needs of refugees. The needs of those admitted to the country are met by the Islamic Society of Chester County in the Pottstown district. This charity meets all kinds of food, shelter, and hygiene needs of refugees from Afghanistan. “The major work that has been put in is by President Bushra Qureshi, VP Abdul Mughees Chaudhri,” stated society member Asim Mian.

According to Mian, several things are being done to help people. A flyer with an approved list of needed items was posted on social media and in the local newspaper as well as sent out via email to many in the community, including other religious and political organizations. Collected items were then transported to ICNA Relief Resource Center for onward delivery to government-approved refugee resettlement agencies that are preparing housing for Afghan refugees. Along with in-kind donations, some people also donated money and gift cards to be used for resettling Afghan refugees. People who would like to make donations should go to the association building and make their donations. 

The flow of refugees has caused political debate within the state, but local charities continue to focus on meeting humanitarian needs. For more information about how to help, check out the Philadelphia Inquirer’s guide