With Operation Allies Refuge underway, 5,000 Afghani refugees will be temporarily sheltered at Marine Corps Base Quantico. We have heard from a number of constituents wondering how they can help welcome these families to Prince William during this trying time.
The Board of County Supervisors is hosting a drive for the items currently being accepted on base: pack-n-plays, portable cribs, diapers and baby wipes. Supervisor Boddye will be accepting diapers and wipes at his office (2241-K Tackett’s Mill Drive) Monday-Thursday starting Sept. 1; look for a bin at the front door. You can also bring larger items, as well as diapers and wipes, to the Office of Chair Ann Wheeler (1 County Complex, Woodbridge VA 22192) during regular business hours. For furniture items, you may want to call ahead, 703-792-4640.
Additionally, use the links below to find volunteer opportunities, Amazon wish lists, and other ways to support the efforts of the three Northern Virginia agencies authorized by the Department of State to resettle Afghan SIV holders:
- Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services: Specific requests for assisting Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIV) , general program overview
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS): Afghan Allies, general program overview
- Ethiopian Community Development Council: General information & volunteer sign-up
When giving, please follow these tips from our Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to make sure that your donation has the intended affect, rather than becoming a burden or logsitical challenge:
- Cash is best: Financial donations to the three recognized resettlement agencies above will help these agencies maximize the assistance they can offer by meeting each family’s specific needs.
- Donate responsibly: While cash is best, organizations may request donations of certain items. Donated physical goods should be new or gently used; if an item is in disrepair or shows signs of use, then it should not be donated.
- Be patient: Many of us wish to help, and there may not be volunteer opportunities for everyone immediately. Remember that the resettlement process can take 30-90 days, and there will be many opportunities and unmet needs in the months ahead as our new friends and neighbors adjust to their life in our community.
Repatriation and resettlement efforts are a federal mission that is supported by the state in accordance with the Commonwealth’s Emergency Repatriation Plan (ERP), of which the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) is the lead agency, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Under the plan, Dulles International Airport is designated as the port of entry to receive all inbound flights of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. After clearing customs, repatriates are greeted at an Emergency Repatriation Center (ERC) that provides assistance with lodging, food, social services, and other short-term unmet needs while they make arrangements to continue to their final destinations in the U.S. The County’s Department of Community Services and other agencies are coordinating with their counterparts at jurisdictions across the region to support these efforts.
The Prince William County OEM is also actively monitoring state and federal repatriation and humanitarian efforts at Dulles International Airport and is the County’s main point of contact for any related requests for assistance through the Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement (SMA).