Ismaili CIVIC, International Rescue Committee collects donations for Afghan refugees

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) – Volunteers from Ismaili CIVIC and the International Rescue Committee have collected donations from the community to help Afghan refugees resettle in Richmond.

On Sunday afternoon, volunteers set up drive-through donation stations to give people the chance to drop off a variety of items, including clothing, appliances, toiletries and school supplies.

Rhonda Coury put down pots and pans, blankets and laundry detergent to lend a hand.

“I think it’s very important as a community to help our neighbors,” she said. “I can’t imagine myself coming here with nothing at all, so I thought it was very important to help them.”

As the donations were dropped off, the volunteers sorted and packed the items to be loaded onto a truck.

Hadi Merchant, a member of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community in Richmond, says this work is their privilege.

“Within the framework of the ethics and principles of our faith, we believe it is our duty to lend a hand in the resettlement of refugees,” he said.

Merchant also says this donation campaign is an important part of his work to give back to his community.

“We see this as our privilege and our duty not only for refugees, but also for underserved communities,” said Merchant. “We want to elevate the status of humans so that they can live with dignity.”

Donations will go to the office of the International Rescue Committee. From there, the items will be sorted and distributed to Afghan refugees resettled in Richmond.

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