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Group helping Afghan refugees makes plea for donations, volunteers

Group helping Afghan refugees makes 'urgent' plea for help
Posted at 5:04 PM, Feb 17, 2022

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - A group in San Diego is aiding Afghan refugees that escaped the Taliban is making a plea for donations and volunteers.

On Thursday morning, Tracey Edwards was at the San Diego Food Bank, shopping for dozens of families.

“We can provide ongoing support for these families,” said Edwards.

The group Helping El Cajon Refugees is currently helping some 50 families of Afghan refugees recently arriving from military bases, after escaping the Taliban in August.

Since August, the group has helped settle more than 1,000 Afghan refugees, providing everything from furniture to household goods to clothing.

Edwards, a grocery lead volunteer, says for the refugees, says qualifying for services like food stamps can take up to eight weeks.

Because of a partnership with the San Diego Food Bank, volunteers can pick up between 700 and 1,000 pounds of food every week.

But Edwards says their supplies are falling short.

“We're about 85% short of our goal,” said Edwards.

When volunteers make their weekly deliveries to the refugees, they notice the shortfall.

“We'll open the cabinets, and there will be nothing in there, or one can of food,” said Edwards.

Abdul, who worked as a translator for the Marine Corps, arrived in San Diego a month ago with his wife and a one-year-old girl. He asked ABC 10News not to reveal his name to protect his family in Afghanistan.

“We can thank them enough. It means the whole world to me and my family,” said Abdul.

He is grateful for all the help, but there is still a need. He has only one pair of shoes. His wife and baby have a few sets of clothes between them.

The need for clothes, shoes, and food are ones Edward's group is hoping to fill.

"Our hope is to welcome families and get them started on their new lives,” said Edwards.

Edwards says hundreds, possibly thousands more, are expected to end up in the San Diego area.

The group is accepting monetary donations and volunteers.