Reach Out Lodi, Lodi American Legion Post 216 and Dane American Legion Post 503 are teaming up to partner with fellow nonprofit organization Team Rubicon in aiding Afghanistan refugees through the Afghan Family Resettlement Program.
Reach Out Lodi, as well as the two American Legions, welcome donations from Sept. 9-23 to help the Afghan refugees through the resettlement process, whether they are relocated to Wisconsin communities or not. A full list of acceptable donations is listed below — all items are to be new, gently used items will not be accepted.
All those taking donations to Reach Out Lodi should specify that the items are for the Afghan Resettlement program.
Donations might be collected at various Dane and Lodi churches, too. Check with your individual church before bringing in donations.
According to ROL Managing Director Mary Wilkes, all donations will then be driven up to the Fort McCoy area on Friday, Sept. 24 — a specific location has yet to be determined.
The Afghan Family Resettlement Program is helping refugees who recently came to the United States through various military bases, including Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, as well as bases in Indiana, New Mexico, Texas, New Jersey and Virginia. Team Rubicon is calling this project Operation Eagle Landing.
Since 2010, Team Rubicon has helped in 785 field operations as results of natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, other severe weather situations, and COVID relief. In total, volunteers have logged 1,212,383 hours in those operations. Additionally, there are 29,765 volunteers trained in disaster response tactics.
According to Team Rubicon, 70% of its volunteers are veterans, many of whom served in Afghanistan.
Team Rubicon began operations in 2010 after an earthquake in Haiti. Founders Jake Wood and William McNulty — both veterans — led a medical team in Haiti. Wood is also a former University of Wisconsin offensive lineman. Team Rubicon has assisted in five other relief operations within Wisconsin due to natural disasters.
In regards to the Afghan refugees, Team Rubicon will help with housing and accommodation assembly, translation services, logistical support, donated goods management, and arrival site management.
For more information on Team Rubicon and how it is helping Afghan refugees, visit www.teamrubiconusa.org/resettlement.
Contact Reach Out Lodi at (608) 592-4592 with questions about donations or for more information.
Only new items will be accepted for donation
Men’s clothing (18+) — Unbranded, modest clothing like shirts, pants in all sizes (no shorts or tank tops)
Women’s clothing (age 18+) — Unbranded, modest clothing like long sleeve crew neck shirts, modest short sleeve shirts, pants in all sizes (no shorts, dresses or tank tops)
Children’s clothing (ages 4-17) — Same items as adults in all ranges and sizes for long sleeve shirts and pants
Baby clothing — Baby clothes (2 months through age 4), and newborn hats and socks (up to 2 months old)
Misc. clothing — Undergarments for men, women and children (modest underwear and socks), hats for all ages (for cold and warm weather), and shoes and sandals for men, women and children (now or clean with very little wear)
Child-specific items — Diapers (assorted sizes), diaper cream, baby wipes, baby shampoo, baby lotion, formula, bottles, no glass, baby food (no glass jars, no meat), blankets/swaddles, spoons, pacifiers, toys (not battery-operated), sports balls and stuffed animals
Food and water — Shelf stable and read-to-eat foods with minimal preparation required, bottled water (no glass), and water-soluble electrolyte, hydration and vitamin powders/liquids
Hygiene (individually packaged) — Bars of soap (no liquid soap), shampoo, deodorant, towels, washcloths, toothpaste/toothbrushes, shower shoes, toilet paper, new masks (disposable or reusable), gloves and hand sanitizer
Miscellaneous — Phone chargers (iPhone and Samsung), copies of the Quran (the Islamic holy book), prayer rugs, bedding (including pillows and warm blankets), reusable and durable water bottles, backpacks, sunscreen and bug spray