Welcome, New Neighbors

It comes as no surprise that over the last 20 years the United States has been at war in Afghanistan. During that time U.S. troops worked hard to build relationships and help support people in Afghanistan to rebuild their county. While this was occurring people in Afghanistan risked their lives and welcomed U.S. troops into their homes and assisted in navigating the unfamiliar languages and landscapes. Now it is our turn to repay that favor and welcome those into our communities that once welcomed our troops. We can do this by fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment.

How can I help?

• Learn more about the culture and common customs of people from Afghanistan. Our library is filled with books and digital materials to learn more about what refugees from Afghanistan have experienced, as well as the war that has gone on for the last 20 years.

• Learn basic greetings and phrases in Pashto and Dari with our free Mango Languages app. Or go a little more in-depth by using Transparent Languages. https://www.ecpubliclibrary.info/databases-research/

• Donate food and household items to local drives or donate money to these sources. Please be mindful of halal food and the processes that are respected as halal in the processing of foods. Having food and items that individuals are used to will greatly aid with the culture shock people experience when relocating.

The following agencies have been identified by Fort McCoy as ways to volunteer or donate: · Team Rubicon: https://teamrubiconusa.org · American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/local/wisconsin.html · International Rescue Committee: https://www.rescue.org/ · United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: https://www.usccb.org/ · Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse: https://bit.ly/3Bs4l50

Thank you to our troops for all they have done over the series of conflicts in the Middle East. If you know veterans, please check on them and offer support to them as well. The individuals fleeing the country, dying, and being attacked are the very people they had close connections with while your troops were away from home. If you are or if you know a veteran in need contact: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/

There are enough resources to be shared with all who need them at this trying time. Take care, be well, and spread kindness.

Looking to read more about refugees? Click the book covers below and be directed to a list of adult, teen, and children books.

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